Lessons from my Sophomore Year

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Hey Future Choctaws! The semester is over, which means I'm halfway done with college and I'm kind of overwhelmed by that. Sophomore year has been a lot of things and I can honestly say that I didn't anticipate any of them. Here are seven (of the one million) things I've learned this year.

1. It's okay to say no.

Coming into this year I thought myself invincible. I said yes to everything and everyone and ended each day drained and tired. I got to a point where all the time I spent with people was wasted because I had nothing to offer. Learning to say "no" when I need to has been beautiful. We are at our best when we take care of ourselves and sometimes that means saying no to opportunities that comes our way. 

2. The difference in "affect" and "effect"

English lesson time. I know it might be a little pitiful that I learned this at 20 years old, but I'm proud of myself so leave me alone. It's a simple lesson that takes three seconds to learn so here we go.

  • Affect: verb.
    • Example, "How did that affect you?"
  • Effect: noun.
    • Example, "What are the effects of that?"
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3. We were not made to be alone.

I tried really hard to act like I didn't need other people, but I was so wrong. In the beginning of creation, God decided it was better for Adam to have a companion, so He gave him one. I had to learn the hard way that we have to allow other people to be there for us. We don't have to always do homework alone or binge watch Netflix alone, we can do life with other people and it's good! When we come to a place where we allow ourselves to be known and loved by others, incredible things happen. 

4. We were made with purpose.

"God made you for a reason. Like a toaster, stoplight, or aircraft carrier, you were designed a specific way for a specific purpose." Francis Chan

5. Treat yo self.

Sabbaths and sweets and siestas. Take them. Learning not to fill the free time you have with other things is one of the sweetest lessons I've ever learned. Allow yourself afternoons at bookstores and pieces of cake and Friday afternoon naps. You're worth doing things that make you happy.

6. We don't have to have it all figured out.

Hi my name is Ashton and I am a serial major changer. I never have a solid answer to the question, "What do you want to do with your life?" and the future kind of scares me. It's intimidating not to know what you're going to do with the degree you're pursuing, but it's so cool to meet Jesus in that. One of my professors encouraged me this year in reminding me that the Lord knows exactly what I'll spend my life doing and He knows the exact moment that He will reveal it to me. We may be legal adults, but guys we don't have to have everything figured out. 

7. It will be okay.

Life isn't always fair, easy, perfect, or fun, but it'll be okay. Even if the outcome is far from ideal or it doesn't end how you want it to, it'll be okay. Today I was reflecting on this semester and just thinking about how I didn't think I would make it to the end. I walked through some really dark days, but guys-- I'm okay. The struggle may feel like it'll last forever, but it won't. You may not feel okay at first or even for a while, but in time it'll hurt less and it'll be okay. The Light will always win. 

My sophomore year is over and that's weird. Here's to the lessons of the summer and beyond. 

Stay great. Keep learning. Never stop eating cheese.

Ashton Beyoncé Ray

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