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.
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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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To The Teacher Who Was So Much More

Thank you for everything
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I think it's fair to say that most people remember at least one teacher who had a lasting impact on them. I have been incredibly lucky to have several teachers who I will never forget, but one individual takes the cake. So here's to you: thank you for all you have done.

Thank you for teaching me lessons not just in the textbook.

Although you taught a great lecture, class was never just limited to the contents of the course. Debates and somewhat heated conversations would arise between classmates over politics and course material, and you always encouraged open discussion. You embraced the idea of always having an opinion, and always making it be heard, because why waste your voice? You taught me to fight for things I believed in, and to hold my ground in an argument. You taught me to always think of others before doing and speaking. You showed me the power of kindness. Thank you for all the important lessons that may not have been included in the curriculum.

Thank you for believing in me.

Especially in my senior year, you believed in me when other teachers didn't. You showed me just what I could accomplish with a positive and strong attitude. Your unwavering support kept me going, especially when I melted into a puddle of tears weekly in your office. You listened to my stupid complaints, understood my overwhelming stress-induced breakdowns, and told me it was going to be okay. Thank you for always being there for me.

Thank you for inspiring me.

You are the epitome of a role model. Not only are you intelligent and respected, but you have a heart of gold and emit beautiful light where ever you go. You showed me that service to others should not be looked at as a chore, but something to enjoy and find yourself in. And I have found myself in giving back to people, thanks to your spark. Thank you for showing me, and so many students, just how incredible one person can be.

Thank you for changing my life.

Without you, I truly would not be where I am today. As cliche as it sounds, you had such a remarkable impact on me and my outlook on life. Just about a year has passed since my graduation, and I'm grateful to still keep in touch. I hope you understand the impact you have made on me, and on so many other students. You are amazing, and I thank you for all you have done.

Cover Image Credit: Amy Aroune

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Dear Incoming College Freshmen, You Only Get To Do This Once

You're only a college freshman once.

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Dear incoming college freshman,

You've graduated high school and you're now onto bigger and better things. As you hang up your varsity jacket and put on your new college sweatshirt instead, there are many things you need to remind yourself of before entering this crazy new life.

College is a wild world of trying new things, finding yourself, staying on top of your grades and meeting new people. You will constantly be balancing responsibilities and pushing your limits. As eventful and free as college is set out to be, it is not all fun and games. It's hard work. It's expensive. And it's exhausting. However, as overwhelming as it may be at times, you will get through it.

The day you move into your freshman dorm is going to be a whirlwind of emotions. You will meet your roommate (who will hopefully become your best friend), hug your parents goodbye, and start getting to know the other people in your hall. Really take this time to put yourself out there. These are the people you will be surrounded by constantly and the sooner you make new friends, the better. These people are going to be there to let you in when you forget your key, pregame with you before going out, and pull caffeinated all-nighters with you during finals week. It's important that you establish a strong social circle with people you trust and know will look out for you when you need it.

Do not let the freedom of living without your parents get to your head. You still have responsibilities. Nobody is going to wake you up and force you to go to school. You have to be in charge and get yourself to your 9 am classes. If you miss class, it's on you. Skipping class does not only make you look bad, but it also sets you much further behind and wastes money. Don't forget that you are literally paying to go to school.

When it comes to going out, be safe. Always keep friends by your side and never trust people that you don't know. Never take drinks from strangers and always keep an eye on your cup. You never know when a random person could slip something in your drink and it's always better to be safe than sorry. And don't ever be afraid to say "no". You are in charge of your body, what it does and what it consumes. If you don't feel comfortable doing something, don't do it. Peer pressure exists in college just like it does in high school and having the willpower to not conform to those around you is a good thing.

Stay on top of your grades. You are going to be juggling a lot, from having a social life, joining clubs and your grades. Remember that your degree is the reason that you are in school. Actually, take the time to study for your tests and expect to have to write short answers on just about every exam. Also, expect nothing you've learned from your semester to be on those exams.

With all of this being said, take the time to enjoy freshman year. Don't hold back and let yourself have a fun wild year. I wish I could go back to being a freshman all the time because I made so many memories that I hold near and dear to my heart. There were so many new things occurring, but I hardly ever felt overwhelmed because I dove headfirst into the chaos and made the best of my year. Take the time to make friends with good people who will be there for you, support you, and will be by your side in having a successful and fun year. Find your true self without giving into peer pressure. Look out for yourself because, at the end of the day, you are the only person capable of making your decisions.

Focus on your grades and don't let the expectations of a wild and 'typical' college experience take away from the reason you are at college. Go to class. Do your work. Earn your degree. It surely won't earn itself. But enjoy it. Embrace it. Have fun and be a little wild. You're only a college freshman once and it's definitely going to be a memorable year.

Cover Image Credit:

Kelsey Thomas

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