I had this excessively long list of things that I thought were going to happen when I got to college. I was bound and determined that it was going to be easy to make friends, do my schoolwork and breeze by. Flash forward a year and i’m sitting in my dorm room alone studying psychology for hours because…I had all the free time in the world and nothing to do with it. I shortly after became really depressed and reclusive, skipping meals and going straight to my room after class and going to bed. When I would go out with people, i’d be more awkward than usual and couldn’t really believe the smile that I was showing to everyone else.
One fateful night, my friend sends me a text telling me to look into the Disney College Program, I read over the website and I became enthralled with the idea of going to Disney World for six months and spending time in the happiest place on earth. At midnight, in my dimly lit room, I filled out the application. I didn’t tell anyone about it because I didn’t want to get anyone’s hopes up. But over the course of a week I was already into the last stage of interviews and a week later…I found out I got in. I left school for six months and had the time of my life in Florida. I got to know so many people from around the entire world, work in a fast paced environment and I got to be a part of many children and adults once in a lifetime experience. And I got to experience it everyday! I took classes from Disney professionals and toured many different parks and hotels, getting to the heart of the machine that is the Disney corporation. I can’t put into words how amazing and how inspirational that journey through my DCP was but….it made me a completely different person.
What I noticed this year, when I was settling back into Grand View, the experience that brought me so much joy for months gave me the determination to make this year so much better. I pushed myself to talk to more people, to become more involved in clubs and organizations and even tried out and got into the 10 minute plays put on by the Grand View theater department. After six months of having to put myself out there, be charismatic and kind, I realized something.
You can’t rely on other people for your success and happiness. You can’t mope around and hope people come to you, ask you to hang out and approach you with opportunities. You have to be open minded and spontaneous. You have to take that step and force yourself to make those opportunities available to you. If I wouldn’t have pushed myself to move to Florida at 18 years old, by myself to work for one of the biggest companies in the world, I don’t think I could have told you the same thing. Since that spontaneous adventure on my own, I’ve craved everything out of my comfort zone. I thrive when I push myself past my limit and go along for the ride. I’m far from confident but i’m far from as reclusive and unhappy as I used to be.
My advice: Do what YOU want, search what’s out there to offer you and go for it. You never know how much of an impact it will have on your life.