(This was originally posted on April 27, 2014.)
Close to this time last year, I left the Disney College Program to return home. The time I spent working at Walt Disney World was one that I will never forget. I got to go with my best friend, Liz. Not only that, we got to be roommates for four months. I learned so much about myself in that short amount of time. Here are some things I learned during my time in Florida!
1. Roommates Have Pros and Cons.
I loved my roommates I had during this time. Considering we were randomly thrown together, I really lucked out. They were great, and I learned a lot about living with another person who wasn’t family. You have to be more attentive to cleaning up after yourself, sharing things, and making sure you are being respectful of their different views and lifestyles. Even though we had a lot of fun times, I realized I am a person who needs her space. If it was just me and one other person, I think I would have enjoyed the experience a little bit more. I had three other people I was living with, and at times it was sometimes hard to handle. However, these three girls were so sweet and caring! We had many late night talks and hilarious moments. It was fun!
2. You Are On Your Own. Really.
Boy, did I learn this fast. Once my parents dropped me off, I was on my own. I had to make sure I arrived to work on time, got groceries when I was running low, and called maintenance when our smoke detector needed batteries (Yes, this happened. Yes, the beeping was annoying). Living on my own showed me I could do it if I really needed to. But with that said, I missed my family, boyfriend, and puppy. And my room. And my town. If I had the choice, I don’t think I’d want to live alone. It gets lonely and sometimes scary. I think what I learned most is I’m a home-body.
3. Being a CP Has Perks.
While working at Disney, CP’s get certain discounts and benefits. Liz and I used our discount to the best of our abilities (LOTS of shopping trips, both outside Disney and in). I bought multiple items that I still have, and I always felt special whipping out my Disney Employee Card. Another perk was free park admission. My roommates and I took advantage of this as much as we could. Liz and I spent lovely days in Epcot, Magic Kingdom, Hollywood Studios, and Animal Kingdom. A cool thing about being a CP is you enter the parks through the back ways a lot of times. I got to walk around the back side of Epcot (It is a lot of walking and more high-tech than the other parks). I worked at Magic Kingdom, and was able to travel the tunnels underneath the park everyday for my job. Not many people can say that!
4. Earning My Ears Was Emotional.
It may sound silly, but at the end of your program you receive your “ears.” A.K.A. Mickey Mouse ears. I was so proud, and I put mine on as soon as I got them! I can’t believe I could accomplish such an amazing program!
5. Memories Last a Lifetime.
I will never forget my time at the Disney College Program. I had a lot of “firsts.” My first time living on my own, living with roommates, taking care of myself, realizing I could do nearly anything on my own, and how to have fun! Even though at times I had some setbacks and difficulties, I wouldn’t trade my time there for anything. It was magical!