Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Looking Back...

I can't believe I am writing this post. I can't believe my College Program journey is at a close. They say all good things come to an end, but so do all the messy, ugly, stressful, beautiful, amazing, and incredible things too. I have reached the end of my seven months as a Disney intern. I can't believe it. I truly can't believe it.
I don't know what I would do without these girls in my life. 
Don't worry, I'm not going anywhere. I will still be here, at Disney, in Orlando, writing this blog, updating everyone on life at Disney. I still hope you will be joining me for my next adventures in the World! But this post isn't so much about the future, it is about the past, and about what the last seven months have taught me. All the ups and downs, the muck and the beauty. It wasn't easy, but I wouldn't change it for the world.

My very first day as a CP. So crazy to think that seven months has passed!
To all my dear friends entering the College Program, be prepared. Contrary to what my pictures may describe, it isn't all happiness and pixie dust. You work long hours, usually early in the morning(my alarm goes off at 4am almost daily) after closing at 10pm the night before. Work is tough, you spend most of the time on your feet, and you get yelled at. A lot. But with every difficult situation, there are the magical moments to balance it out. Like making a little girl feel like a true princess, or meeting an undercover Mickey Mouse.

I have met so many good friends and some amazing Cast Members.
Sometimes, you get the chance to encourage current Cast Members, or even future CP's. Then, you have the guests you will never forget about, the ones who change your day and sometimes your life. The guests whose outlook on life encourages you beyond belief. I got celebrate with a woman who found out she was cancer free only a few days before coming to Disney, and I was one of the first people she told. Or maybe, it's embroidering a child's first ear hat, and that might be the only time he comes to Disney. Those are magical moments that make the long hours worth it, the crazy work schedules, and the sometimes strange things you do on stage. It is worth it to know that you are making magic, you are making memories, and you are the reason people come to Disney. You don't get that at any old job. ;)

So many Star Wars Weekend memories!
Then there is the transportation. Let me tell you, if you have the option to bring a car, do it. I have been rescued so many times by sweet friends willing to come out of their way for me(Tabby, Alexis, Holly, and Carri!!!!!) Shooting straight with you, bus transportation isn't always the best. Be prepared to wait long hours and leave for work super early, so you don't get any unnecessary points. Looking back, I can't even count the amount of days I wished I had a car.

But honestly, since I had no choice, when else in my life will I get the chance to rely completely on buses? Not only does it make for awesome stories, but it also means that I have learned what an incredible blessing a car is. And sometimes, when taking the bus, it gives you the option to bless someone else. One time, I helped a bus driver learn his route because it was his first day and he didn't know where to go. While frustrating at first, we began to talk and laugh, and I still remember that day fondly because of those unexpected times we ended up completely in the wrong place. Just be prepared for a little craziness, and take those moments to be a blessing to the people around you.

Finally, there are roommates. You will never learn more about grace, love, and selflessness than living with roommates. There will be fights and yelling, but if you push through, if you work to get to know the people in your apartment, there will be memories you will never forget. I already promised my CP roommate I would come kidnap her for lunch this year, even though we don't live in the same room anymore. Living in CP housing is probably one of the hardest parts about the CP program, but at the same time, I learned so much about myself and what it means to live selflessly.

Standing at the end of my CP program, I can truly say, there has been nothing like it in the world. I spent all my time off at the Disney parks, and when I wanted a little peace and quiet, I went to Magic Kingdom. Who else in the world can do that? It has fostered an incredible love for this company, for the people that come through our turnstiles, and the Cast Members I work alongside. You have the opportunity to change the lives of everyone you interact with. The Guests will remember you forever. There is no other job in the world where you can create magic simply by walking out the door. And I wouldn't change it for anything.

So many memories. I am going to miss those times so much! 
If you are thinking about coming to work here at any capacity, whether it is seasonal, CP, ICP, PI, part time, or full time, all I can say is DO IT! Enjoy it. Live it. No other time in your life can you live at Disney. It will truly be one of the most amazing experiences you can ever have.

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