I Left Grad School To Move To Walt Disney World And I Don't Regret It

I Left Grad School To Move To Walt Disney World And I Don't Regret It

Life is all about finding happiness in what you are passionate about.

Have you ever had a job that made you want to wake up every morning? A job where you were excited to see your coworkers and you were passionate about the work that you did?

Well, I did.

Doing the Disney College Program at Walt Disney World changed my life. Before going to Florida, I had had a plan. I would take a year off from school after graduation and move to the happiest place on earth, work there for a year, and then return home to complete graduate school before starting my career as a teacher. But things changed.

I worked at Living with the Land at Epcot for my college program. During my year in Florida, this tiny little boat ride became my home, and the cast members that worked there were my family. I woke up excited to go to work everyday and would frequently ask to extend my shift in order to stay longer. I felt passionate about making magic for the guests and went out of my way to find new ways of doing so. I wanted to gain more knowledge and find new responsibilities in the company I worked for. I knew that what I did mattered and I, personally, wanted to further myself and take on more responsibilities in my location. But before I knew it, it was time to return home and back to the life I had planned for myself.

Coming home was really difficult because I simply did not feel the same passion for the work I was doing. Graduate school and teaching had been my plan since before I had entered college, but suddenly I was uncertain what I really wanted to do. 9 months later, I made the decision to move back to Florida and pursue a career with the Walt Disney Company, and the decision is something I will never regret.

Too often we find that we become trapped by a plan. We are stuck in a certain path and it can be scary to contemplate deviating from the safe road that is "set" for our future. I want to challenge you to do just that. Never be afraid to reach for your dreams and find the job that makes you happy and fulfilled. So often I hear college students talk about majoring in Economics or Business or Engineering or other "high paying" careers because their parents told them to, because they knew there would be job opportunities in that field after graduation, or various other reasons. These are not bad choices in themselves. It is good to have a career your parents approve of and it is good to choose something you know you can get hired in. This becomes bad when we choose a job for the money. Yes, your job should pay for you to live, but it should also be so much more than that.

I never want to become the person who is stagnant, pessimistic, and negative about their work. Your job should be so much more than a means of making a living. It should be something you are passionate about and something that motivates you to wake up in the morning because you know you are making a positive difference in the world.

Moral of the story: find whatever that is for you and go do it!

Cover Image Credit: Beth Monnig

Popular Right Now

A Letter To High School Seniors On Graduation Day

The rest of your life begins today.

Dear High School Senior,

Today's the day you've been waiting for your whole life. You'll wake up a little earlier than usual, brush your teeth and go downstairs for your last breakfast as a high school student. Your mom will look at you with tears running down her cheeks wondering how her baby grew up so quickly. Your friends will be texting your group message non-stop with words of disbelief, wondering where the time went. You guys made it to the day you've been counting down to all year long.

You'll start to reminisce on things like your first pep rally and the dorky outfits you wore freshman year. You'll laugh at things your old teachers did and remember the ones who left to teach somewhere else. You'll wonder how the guys in your grade actually managed to grow up and laugh at how young you all looked when you had just begun. You'll remember all of the football games you attended and consider how strange it will be seeing other people wearing your guy friends' numbers when the Thanksgiving game rolls around. You'll drive by the soccer field and think of all the blood, sweat and tears you gave to it over your high school career.

You'll recall your first real kiss and joke about how upset you were when the first boy broke your heart. It'll feel like yesterday when you walk through those doors for the final time and look around at all of the empty lockers. You'll gather with your classmates together in the same place for the last time and think about how you're all going to be in different places next year. You'll be excited but nervous because in a few hours, life as you know it will change.

So before you sit down to hear the Valedictorian's speech and walk the stage to receive your diploma, make sure you take the time to appreciate the memories you made in those halls. Thank your teachers, even the difficult ones, because when you're sitting down in your first college class, you'll feel grateful for the work they made you do. Thank your parents for supporting you. It's not easy raising a teenager, but they did not give up on you regardless of how brutal puberty was.

Thank your friends. They're the ones that got you through your first heartbreak and made sure that you were going to be okay. They listened to your complaints after a big fight with your mom, even if they thought you were wrong. They forgave you when you were wrong and understood your bad days. They stood up for you when you got yourself in a bad situation. They brought you coffee when you didn't have time to get it yourself. They took you home when you couldn't make it there alone. They celebrated your good news and helped you through the bad. They made you laugh uncontrollably and created memories that you'll hold on to forever. They made you who you are today.

After you receive your diploma and throw your cap in the air, make the most of the time you have left with your high school friends before you all head off to college. You only have a few months before you're sitting in a dorm room surrounded by unfamiliar faces. Work, but don't forget that memories last longer than money. Go to the beach, take lots of pictures, go out on Friday nights and enjoy the days that summer has to give. Trust me, college will be awesome, but you'll never be the same person that you are today.


Your College Self

SEE ALSO: 11 Pieces Of Advice All High School Students Need To Hear

Related Content

Connect with a generation
of new voices.

We are students, thinkers, influencers, and communities sharing our ideas with the world. Join our platform to create and discover content that actually matters to you.

Learn more Start Creating

10 Server Tweets To Help You Make It Through The Holidays

Being a server is a hard job. We need to laugh about it.


For all my fellow servers and bartenders out there, happy holidays to all of you! We can make it through the rude customers, forgotten orders, and low tips together, but first, we need to take a break and remember what brings us all together... the TOO realistic tweets.

2. Your day off


3. Clocking in 

I work at noon, but I don't feel like working until 12:30 at least...

4. The table greeting 

Sure, let me just shut up now.

8. Customer service

It's 2019. We're eco-friendly this year.

10. The cliche customers 

We need a thread for this... because there's so many.

Related Content

Facebook Comments