Life in Neverland: Defend your Dream

Hey, collegiettes!

I want to tell you about the happiest place on earth. But not exactly in the way you’re thinking.

I define that happy place in two ways, both of which really are the root of my passions. One is DePauw, duh. I have to say, I have quite the love affair with this place. We’ve had our ups and downs, but I know ol’ DePauw is not just a place, but part of what defines me.

I hope to provide insight to the things I have learned in the past three years here, and what I continue to learn this year. Because for as much as I have changed since I arrived in the ‘Castle in 2010, I know each year brings a new story, adventure, heartbreak and wonderful lessons.

My other happy place may not come as a surprise to most who know me. I am a Disney nerd at heart. I grew up visiting Disney World more times than I can count (not an exaggeration). I know more Disney trivia than I’d like to admit, I took a “trip around the world” in EPCOT for my 21st and got a true “taste” of each country with my best friends, my cousin works there and I intend to move to Florida after that dreaded “G” word in May.

Which brings me to my first message to you all about dreaming big. Come on, did you expect any less from this princess?

Defending your dream is tough. And I wish it didn’t have to be that way.

When we were little, however obscure our vision was for what we wanted to be when we grew up, our parents and elders wouldn’t shut it down. We could be anything, and really no one was going to stop us. How many times do us Disney lovers hear that any dream you have can come true if you really believe in it, and no one can take that away from you. But, why is that harder and harder to believe, as we get older? Especially when we—-I—haven’t gotten the chance to truly act on it just yet?

I am fully committed to applying for the Disney College Program upon graduation. But no matter how much I think about it, read about it, or talk about it, it still is sinking in that, yes, I have a concrete dream. And what a strange thing for me, the hopeless romantic, Disney princess to admit? I am a bit scared of my plan/dream at times. I’m scared it won’t happen, and that the one chance I have at this program I may, in fact, mess up. Life happens, and what if life happens in such a way that this won’t work out? How are you supposed to feel when you finally, finally, get to act on your dream?

I think being scared means you’re going in the right direction. Perhaps you want to study abroad but you don’t want to be away for that long? That means you are pushing yourself. And what if your dream job goes against the social “norm” of working in an office 9-5 and everyone tells you ‘no’? Good. That means you’re putting yourself first.

Despite this passion, excitement, fear, and deep thought we give to our future, sometimes I struggle declare it to anyone who will listen. Because there are some people who don’t believe in these types of big dreams.

I believe part of a dream must include defending it with every ounce of passion in your soul. But that is something I am still learning how to do. People will judge no matter what. But I know what can provide happiness to me, and that’s what is most important whatever your dream may be. No matter your dream, there will be doubters. But you know what? They just never had a chance to be brave and dream like us.