5 Items To Add To Your Disney College Program Checklist

5 Items To Add To Your Disney College Program Checklist

Having a Disney themed room is important, but don't forget the other aspects of your program.

In less than a month, young adults from across the country will all be flocking to Florida and California to take part in the Disney College Program. Preparing for the program is something that many people start as soon as they are accepted, but a simple items checklist is not all you should be considering. Packing can be exciting, especially when the destination is the "happiest place on Earth," but there are some other aspects that you should be considering. I know your room decorations are very important, but make sure to consider these things before departing for your program.

1. Universal pass

A big topic that is discussed is whether or not you, as a Disney College Program member, are going to buy a season pass to Universal. Considering we will all be getting free admission to the parks, some people don't bother with Universal because they will have all the theme park access they could ever ask for. However, if you think there is ever the possibility of having a little too much Disney in your life, get the pass. Chances are you will go there often enough for the cost to be worth it.

2. Pin trading

Most DCP participants think of pin trading as an integral part of their experience and for the most part, that's true. What you need to decide is if it is something that interests you. If you've never done any pin trading before, find a cheap pack of pins that you don't really like so that it's not hard to trade them away. What I find most people do is buy the pins they really like, but then they never want to actually trade them -- don't make this mistake!

3. Leisure activities

Working at Disney may seem like a non stop vacation so you may wonder why you would ever begin to think about leisure activities. Remember, every job can, and probably will, become stressful and Disney is no exception. I recommend finding a leisure activity that isn't going to the parks. Find something away from your job like going to see a play, spending a day at the beach, or visiting a museum. If you plan on seeing any shows or musicals, it is best to plan ahead of time as tickets can go quickly.

4. Networking

As far as your actual program goes, don't count on getting a single reference as it will not happen. However, that doesn't mean that you won't be able to build relationships with possible future employers. Many participants of the Disney College Program go in with the idea of working for Disney long term, and do the program to get a feel for the company. The best advice I can give you is if you are looking to work for Disney after you graduate, find events to go to and network as much as you can. Talk to people who have worked for the company for years and get all the information you need. Bring along a polished resume -- there's nothing wrong with being confident.

5. Figure out a financial system

We've all heard it from every single DCP vlogger out there. Somehow, even with Disney having a paid internship, everyone seems to come out of it with less money than they went into it with. Yes, Disney merchandise is great and no one will disagree that's it's okay to get a couple souvenirs from your time there. However, do not give every single paycheck you get from Disney right back to them through thoughtless purchases. I promise you will survive without getting a pair of ears for every event happening in every park. The best thing you can do to control your spending is plan to put away a certain amount of money from every paycheck -- money you cannot touch! With so many internships out there being unpaid, us lucky participants of the DCP need to take advantage of the extra cash.

Remember, you were picked out of thousands upon thousands of applicants and this experience will be beneficial. However, you need to find the way it will be most beneficial to you. Everyone has different experiences and plans different futures so if you have the Disney company in your sights for the long haul, don't take this internship for granted. Make your impression, make some money and most of all, enjoy your time working for the mouse!

Cover Image Credit: Touring Plans

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Things I'd Rather Do Than Write My Thesis

Can I just go back to school?

Depending on the type of major a student has in college or university, he or she has to write a thesis in their senior and/or graduate year. It is the most annoying and horrific thing to write. It’s dreadful and not fun. You know that moment where you stare at your blank screen with a slack-jawed expression? Yeah, multiply that by tenfold. Here is a list of things I’d rather do than write my thesis:

Clean my room.

Go out with friends.

Hang out with my little brother.


Perform a Lobotomy.

Listen to the soundtrack of Hamilton, Moana, Wicked and Wicked- Hamilton is at least two and a half hours long.

Binge watch new Netflix shows.

Binge watch old Netflix shows-- I've watched The West Wing many, many times!

Schedule trips in advance.

Eat food.

Drink coffee.

Make a schedule of all the things I need to do in order to write my thesis.

Create a bullet journal.

Reorganize my closet.

Check out filters on Snapchat.

Check out Instagram and Facebook.

Read the news-- Can I just say "oy, vey?"

Text my friends-- Their lives are much better than writing a thesis any day!

Read a book.

Consider going back to school in order to defer my thesis.

Write an article for The Odyssey!

There ya have it, folks. Thesis writing will be the most awful thing you have to do. No thesis, no degree. No degree, no teaching. It’s a necessary evil but if you’re able to choose your topic, it is easier. Don’t get me wrong, my thesis is not a hard topic… it’s just the act of writing it, turning it in, and then being DONE with school that bothers me.

Cover Image Credit: Lidyanne Aquino

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How To Pay For College

Dream about being able to just go back to the dorm and sleep. Instead go to work and clock some more hours.

Save every penny you earn from babysitting those kids down the street. Put it in a jar labeled "College Fund." Daydream about all the Ivy league schools you're going to apply to someday. Snap out of it and finish up your homework for the night. Go to bed and dream of Princeton, Harvard, and Yale.

Start your junior year of high school. Give up on those dreams of the Ivy leagues and set your heart on a school in the city. Work harder than ever. Take your SATs. Do okay on them. Retake them. Do a little better.

Star your applications for college. Apply to six schools. Let that doubt creep in that you aren't talented enough to get into that school in the city. Don't even bother with the one in the city. Still dream about going there one day, maybe for grad school?

Wait to hear back from your top choice. Read the words "denied acceptance" on a letter from the school. Wait some more. Get into a school you've never heard of. Accept. Apply for loans. Pick up extra shifts at work. Apply for more loans. Apply for scholarships. Lay awake at night wondering how you are ever going to pay for all of these bills. Forget that you're walking across the stage in just a day and leaving high school behind for good.

Graduate high school. Celebrate. Refocus on the task at hand: paying for school. Work 40+ hours a week in the summer. See your co-workers more than your family. Pack everything up in your car just three months later and move 10 hours away.

Move into your dorm. Realize that that was the wrong room and move to your room down the hall. Start a new chapter of your life. Spend a month getting used to life on campus. Love all of your classes. Start applying for jobs. Get a response back right away from one. Go in for an interview. Accept when they offer it to you. Work there the rest of your college career.

Finish the semester strong. Go home and work extra shifts in between family dinners. Fill out your FASFA. Don't get enough aid. Apply for another loan. Go back to school and discover your dream job.

Tailor your schedules around becoming a journalist. Go above and beyond the requirements for your courses. Find a way to squeeze in more time to work.

Become a tutor. Work as many hours as you can. Find a love for helping your peers understand the things that come naturally to you. Apply for more scholarships. Hope you get some.

Keep your goal in sight. Keep your grades up and your mind sharp. Work hard not just to make money, but so you can keep doing what you love.

Cover Image Credit: Andrew Neel

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