It’s kind of hard to explain exactly what the Disney College Program is to people who haven’t experienced it themselves. It’s an internship, but I don’t actually get college credit for doing it. I’m working for a Fortune 500 company, but not in anything related to the field that I’m pursing. Oh, and I’m taking classes, but instead of an actual “big girl” degree, I’ll be getting a super cheesy “Mousters” degree. But all of this is appealing. So appealing that I’m taking another semester off to do it all over again.
My experience taught me a lot about Disney and a lot about myself. Here are 5 things completely unrelated to Disney that I learned because of the DCP:
- To live in little moments
- Spending six months living in Orlando really taught me how important how it is to embrace the little things and make the most out of everything. Everyday was a little bit different and definitely special, and having a limited amount of time here showed me how to embrace my spontaneity and sacrifice sleep for memories.
- Breaking social norms is okay
- To an extent, of course. Taking a semester off of school showed me that there is absolutely nothing wrong with not following a strict four-year graduation plan or taking time off before pursuing a higher education. I’ve learned that if I want to do something, I have to do it now. It’s simultaneously terrifying and freeing to accept that I don’t fit into society’s cookie-cutter mold of how I should be spending my college years in order to be successful.
- Moving across the country is just as terrifying and freeing as it seems
- But I’m really, really glad I decided to do it. The college I attend is only 40 minutes away from home, so even though I live at school, my family was always right there if I ever needed to come home. Once my mom left after check-in, I was on my own with all the other new CPs who were on their own too. It’s so freeing, though, to learn how to be independent, together.
- What long distance friendships are really like
- Leaving friends and a place that I have found a home in hurt, and missing those people hurts even more. But, reminiscing on memories and sharing new stories makes these friends seem a little less far away.
- The power of grocery shopping and meal planning
- Last but not least, I have a love/hate relationship with food. Being able to shop for my own groceries and actually know what I have available to eat, rather than depending on the cafe and fast-food restaurants on campus, has helped me to hate food a little bit less. One of the things I’m really looking forward to is being able to prepare my own food and actively choose what I want to eat again.