Yesterday morning I woke up to an email saying that I’d been accepted to the Disney College Program. For the record, this is the best thing to wake up to. I called my dad, I called my sister, I made a Facebook post.
Not only is Disney a dream come true–I’ve wanted to be a cast member since I was old enough to know they were called cast members. I grew up in a theater and thought that Disney being a huge, well-orchestrated show was so cool. But it’s also the only thing I applied for in the Spring. I’m graduating early just to work there. If I hadn’t gotten in, I don’t know what I would do.
I know that I’ve gotten “Attractions,” which means I could be operating any one of the rides in Walt Disney World. (Which is really cool just by itself.) The only other job I would have wanted was working at the boutique, but it’s probably a good thing I didn’t get that. I never even put on lipstick before college.
So in the Spring, I’ll be working in Disney World. Hopefully on a really cool ride, like the Jungle Cruise (other people who worked at the Jungle Cruise include John Lassiter, the director of Pixar movies like Toy Story and A Bugs Life. Now, I think he’s the executive producer for all of Disney/Pixar. He’s not a huge idol or anything.) Or the Great Movie Ride. What can I say? I love talking to people.
Now, to clarify, getting into the College Program wasn’t a given. I didn’t get in last year when I applied. One of my best friends, who’s also a Disney junkie, didn’t get in this year when she applied for the third time. They receive a lot of applications and can take their pick. So it wasn’t a shoo-in. I probably should have applied for more places in the Spring, but I was hoping to go to Orlando because it’s Disney and also because it’s only four hours away from my friends who will still be here in Tallahassee. Hopefully they can come visit me, I can go visit them, and the post-college separation will be easier to take.
For the second time in four years, I’m getting the amazing opportunity to, as my mom put it on the phone last night, meet “all new people.” Which is really exciting, because I love meeting new people. But it’s also really scary, and sad. In high school, I thought I had the best friends I’d ever know in my life. In college, I’ve added to that group of people, witch more of the best humans on the planet. If the trend continues, I’ll meet even more funny, intelligent, amazing people. But I keep thinking there’s only so many times someone can get lucky.
Every time I remember that I got into Disney, I get incredibly happy. I can’t believe college is almost over and I have to leave my girls, but I get to receive MFA rejections in the Happiest Place on Earth. I get to work for a company I’ve always admired. I get to have a job that’s literally designed just to make other people have the time of their lives.
This hasn’t been the easiest week. The work of applying to ten graduate programs while writing a thesis is starting to get to me. Friendships that I thought were solid seem to be slipping through my fingers and I don’t know why. I’ve spent a lot of time crying and eating chocolate and taking my frustrations out on the gym. But whatever happens, I’m going to Disney World.
I’ve been blessed with having an amazing college career. It started with eight months in London and three months in Florence. I’ve had ten wonderful girls as roommates. I’ve had two years of Girl’s Nights and too many nights of Netflix. I’ve been published, and invited to participate in a graduate workshop, and told that “I’m not kidding myself” for thinking about getting into graduate school. And I get to top it all off with this new experience, with all new people.