The Disney College Program Changed My Life

The Disney College Program Changed My Life

Just a quick detour...
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Although we all know that it did start with a mouse, my journey began with just one email — little did I know it would've changed my life forever.

The Disney College Program was nothing like what most people would perceive it to be (though the Instagram posts couldn't defend that). It is full of a whole bunch of expectations, hard work, and an umpteen amount of hours on end trying to help fix problems and making light in tough situations; besides all of this comes laughing a million laughs, spending all of what little hours you do have to eat dole whips and take artsy park wall pictures, and most importantly changing each and every day into the person you were always meant to be. There is no service given to customers, or should I say "Guests", like this anywhere else in the world. Here I was taught to have more courtesy for others than ever before, the utmost respect for everyone around you, and a kind and helpful nature that is almost infectious; there is so much hard work put into how well our roles are performed that it could be almost unimaginable to others.

This incredible experience has changed me in ways that I could have never imagined before. I was taught how to be a person everyone would want on their side; a person with better morals than before, an adventurer, someone who's willing to help others, and a person who loves life so much that they couldn't stand the idea of wasting one second of it. Above all else, I believe the DCP humbles you in a way no other experience can — meeting hundreds of thousands of different people from all over the world who fill each room and place with a million different stories is something so truly incredible that it makes you see life in a completely different light, and never knowing what or who was going to walk through the door was the most exhilarating and exciting part. At one point I believed I had hit a dead end with my drive for life, but this program opened me up so much more and thankfully proved me wrong; here I completely exceeded my own expectations of who I thought I could ever be.

I learned to never settle for less than I deserve. I'm curious. I now know what I want out of life and what I deserve. I seek adventure and I want to explore — I feel safe exploring the unknown. I feel strength from criticism and take pride in my flaws. I learned that no dream is too big, and that seeking the hard way out gives you much more satisfaction. I learned to take every opportunity that may come my way and to run with it as fast as I possibly can; most importantly, I finally learned to fall in love with who I am.

Whether good or bad, every person that was put into my life throughout those four months had a purpose and undoubtedly helped shape me into who I am today. From the first incredibly awkward roomie dinner at ESPN to carrying each other out of clubs in downtown Orlando, the friendships made here created bonds that can never be broken. After getting lost in the beach towns hours from home and making unforgettable moments for special families, we've now been forced to resort to FaceTime and planning reunion trips that may seem so far away, but will once again be gone in the blink of an eye. Going through this incredible once in a lifetime experience with these amazing people, whether it be roommates, co-workers, or other random fellow cast members, is something not many can say they've had the pleasure of doing and is the reason why these friendships are so treasured.

With this program came highs and lows - mostly highs - and it is something to be cherished forever. Each passing day calls for reminiscing about the days you'd sit in front of the castle for hours before work, the nights you'd learn how to master passing through the massive firework crowds, and missing it so much that you'd actually find yourself saying what you would give up to be working those 1 a.m. shifts every single night. This was a journey I was only able to dream of until that one email changed my life. Here, in this long yet not long enough 4-month moment, life seemed so simple; everything revolved around happiness, growth, and celebrating life with each day that came to you. Making magic completely changed my life.

So here's to dream chasing — to reaching for the stars as high as you possibly can, to taking jumps from heights that ordinary people would be afraid of, and to conquering the world. The future that never was is right here in this special place; this dream is just beginning.

Cover Image Credit: Reanna Morio

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3 Reasons Why Step Dads Are Super Dads

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I often hear a lot of people complaining about their step-parents and wondering why they think that they have any authority over them. Although I know that everyone has different situations, I will be the first to admit that I am beyond blessed to have a step dad. Yep, I said it. My life wouldn't be the same that it is not without him in it. Let me tell you why I think step dads are the greatest things since sliced bread.

1. They will do anything for you, literally.

My stepdad has done any and every thing for me. From when I was little until now. He was and still is my go-to. If I was hungry, he would get me food. If something was broken, he would fix it. If I wanted something, he would normally always find a way to get it. He didn't spoil me (just sometimes), but he would make sure that I was always taken care of.

SEE ALSO: The Thank You That Step-Parents Deserve

2. Life lessons.

Yup, the tough one. My stepdad has taught me things that I would have never figured out on my own. He has stood beside me through every mistake. He has been there to pick me up when I am down. My stepdad is like the book of knowledge: crazy hormonal teenage edition. Boy problems? He would probably make me feel better. He just always seemed to know what to say. I think that the most important lesson that I have learned from my stepdad is: to never give up. My stepdad has been through three cycles of leukemia. He is now in remission, yay!! But, I never heard him complain. I never heard him worry and I never saw him feeling sorry for himself. Through you, I found strength.

3. He loved me as his own.

The big one, the one that may seem impossible to some step parents. My stepdad is not actually my stepdad, but rather my dad. I will never have enough words to explain how grateful I am for this man, which is why I am attempting to write this right now. It takes a special kind of human to love another as if they are their own. There had never been times where I didn't think that my dad wouldn't be there for me. It was like I always knew he would be. He introduces me as his daughter, and he is my dad. I wouldn't have it any other way. You were able to show me what family is.

So, dad... thanks. Thanks for being you. Thanks for being awesome. Thanks for being strong. Thanks for loving me. Thanks for loving my mom. Thanks for giving me a wonderful little sister. Thanks for being someone that I can count on. Thanks for being my dad.

I love you!

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'Culling' The Bullsh*t; Taking A Deeper Look At The Antibiotics In The Livestock Industry

You want the truth? Here it is.

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As many people have seen around the internet, one of the hot topics is having cattle or other livestock antibiotic free. This has lead to a movement that is not only incorrect with their basic information, but they are hurting family farms across the nation. This stems from the idea that antibiotics contaminate meat products and will affect the consumer. In this article the main points that "justify" the antibiotic culture will be broken down and simplified. I hope by the end of reading this you will be more knowledgeable about this subject, and will make the best decision for you and your family.

1. "If you don't specifically buy antibiotic free meat, you will buy meat with antibiotics in it."

The FDA has control check on the processing line when livestock is processed. This means that the likelihood of any "antibiotic filled" animal to make it through is slim to none. If by chance a ranch or feedlot gets flagged by FDA, they will be fined with a bill in the thousands. This type of flag will make it difficult for that ranch to ever sell livestock in the normal market again. This is only one of the incentives for ranch owners to stay in the clear.

2. "Antibiotics are used to promote growth"

This statement is false. Antibiotics are used to treat an illness. Yes an animal might gain weight after treatment. But that is because when we are sick we tend to not eat as much. Once you start to feel better, it stirs up your hunger. Antibiotics are and have never been used to promote growth.

3. What happens to the animal on an antibiotic free farm when it gets sick.

Let's do a comparison example. If your child got sick what do you normally do? Take them to the doctor and if he prescribes a medication for them you would provide the correct amount to treat the illness. This is the same way with the livestock industry. Most antibiotics and medication in general are a prescription based. Therefore, a vet will need to sign off on the treatment of the animals. While most ranches will treat the illness and move on, antibiotic free farms need to move that animal off site to another ranch. Some of the time they have a secondary place where those treated animals go to live out their life. Not treating a sick animal is inhumane.

These are only a few of the antibiotic free lies that surround the livestock world. And I am not saying for someone to completely change their beliefs over one article, what I am saying is do your research. From both sides of the argument. Then base your final decision from what you have learned. The agriculture industry has many that oppose that will use fear-tactics to push their agenda. And although we are not a perfect industry, we are a very important part of society. And we hold high standards for ourselves because of that.

Thank you for reading,

if you have a suggestion of what I should talk about next leave a comment.

-Chrystal B.

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