During my housing meeting on my first week of the DCP, our presenters asked the audience to shout words that described a rollercoaster, which included adjectives like: “fun, scary, adventurous, frightening, fast, thrilling, ups and downs, exciting, suspenseful.”
After that they told us, “those same adjectives are going to be the ones that describe your time here on the Disney College Program.”
All of us had just recently checked in, moved into our new homes for the next five months, and we’re about to be cast members at Walt Disney World! There’s no way any of us would have thought that the coming months would be anything but the “positive” adjectives. After all, we’re working for DISNEY for goodness sakes! How could this experience possibly have it’s negatives, right!?
It has officially been two months since I moved to Orlando and began my internship. In some ways, it feels like there’s no way time has possibly passed that fast. In other ways, it feels like I’ve been here for a hundred years. The Disney presenters at the housing meeting two months ago were 100% spot on when they warned us that this experience would be a rollercoaster. It will have it’s ups and it’s down- and it most certainly has.
Some days you feel like there’s nothing that could possibly make you happier than being here. Some days you don’t want to leave your bed and face work and life at all. Some days waves of gratitude come crashing down around you because you’re just so appreciative to have this experience. Some days, you may be so overwhelmed or just done with working that you want nothing more than to fly back home and crawl into the arms of your family. Other days, you can’t believe that this is your life– that the parks are your home and you get to stop by whenever to ride whatever ride or meet whatever character whenever you feel like it.
Life is hard wherever you are. It just so happens to be a tad bit harder when you’re thrown out of your comfort zone thousands of miles away from home or working long shifts, having a lot demanded from you, or keeping a smile on your face when a guest is yelling at you.
I’m not sure this experience is for everyone, but it’s definitely one that everyone should try. Going into the program, I had did my research on things to expect and read and watched advice from previous alumni. Some alumni will suggest that the program isn’t worth it, while others will say it’s 100% worth it. Some people will self-term because they aren’t happy or it’s not what they imagined or they don’t think it’s worth it anymore, while some people will do the entire program, extend for another 5-8 months and then apply again for second or third programs.
I know you’re not asking, but since you’re reading this on my blog I’m going to tell you my personal “2 months in” updates & opinions on the program anyway.
Because this is literally what you’re here for, I’ll quickly talk about my work: I started out absolutely dreading going to work every day and hating my job. That’s gotten better. Some days I even looked forward to going in. Now I’m kinda bored and just go through the motions. I still think it’s cool I get to work in such a sick location (Typhoon Lagoon), but it’s mostly the same thing every single day. As what happens to many roles here. I will however get deployed to Animal Kingdom Lodge at the end of the month to spend the rest of my program there, so that’ll be a sweet change up. I’m also #blessed to have some of the best work hours. I usually work from 9:45 am to 6 pm, while some of my roommates don’t even go in til 4 or 5 pm and get off at 1 am. Yay for lifeguarding.
Now… My free time. I used to spend all of my free time going to the parks whenever I got the chance! I’d get fast passes for my most favorite rides or stop by Magic Kingdom just to get a churro. I don’t want to say that the parks get old but… They’re not like how they were when I first got here, unfortunately. This week was actually the first I didn’t go to a theme park– not even once, the entire week. Granted… It was the worst week I’ve had since I’ve been here and I was practically dead one day, then on hurricane lock down for another day, but that’s beside the point.
Life here is routine now and work is basically my life. I usually spend nights after work either reading, watching tv with my roommates in the living room, or turning in early because sleep = life. As for my days off, I’ll usually try to go to a park to do normal “life tasks” like laundry, grocery shop, or run errands. Yeah, yeah, I’m aware I should be taking advantage of all my opportunities here but I’ve exhausted the parks and I don’t think I’ll regret not going to that one pool party downstairs.
I left Orlando about a month ago to travel to Boston. I’ll be leaving in a few days to visit my family back home. Right after that, I’ll be traveling to New York City to celebrate my 21st birthday, and shortly after that I’ll be flying back to Boston to visit my boy. I clearly don’t feel a dying obligation to stay here if I have the opportunity not to on my days off.
So is the program worth it to me, specifically? Yes. I know I would have regretted it if I hadn’t done it. I know I would have regretted it if I had left when I felt depressed every morning about my job and contemplated for a split second about self-terming. It’s a learning experience, where I’m primarily learning about myself and being forced to grow. It does help that I can explore the most Magical Place On Earth for free, even if I don’t spend all my time there anymore. It does help that I’m getting experience working at one of the top companies in the world. It helps I get to experience everything WDW has to offer at this time of year. I’d be lying if I said there were times I’d really question my purpose here though. Sorry, not sorry.
I’m not really sure what I’m trying to say here, but this is just my unapologetically honest and unorganized two month update on my time here thus far. Cheers to another three months experiencing the magic and being apart of Walt’s dream here! *clink*