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Life Lessons I’ve Learned From Disney Movies: Peter Pan

One of the first Disney films I remember seeing as a kid is Peter Pan. I think that, to a certain extent, most kids have a fascination with flying, and Peter Pan definitely feeds into this dream. Looking back on it, the thing I loved most about Peter Pan is that it is the ultimate fantasy movie. No fantasy film would be complete without pirates, mermaids, fairies, and kids going on an epic adventure. If we were to grade Peter Pan in that respect, it would get an A+. I will always have a soft spot in my heart for this movie, even though it has kind of been ruined for me considering that in the show Once Upon a Time, Peter Pan is a villain and Captain Hook becomes a hero.

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Despite me becoming disenchanted with it in the last few years, like all Disney films, Peter Pan still provides us with some really important life lessons.

1.  It’s okay to not want to grow up.

I’ve always thought that it’s funny how, when we’re kids, we’re desperate to grow up. And then, when we become adults, we try to resist adult responsibilities as much as we can. Let’s face it: being an adult is hard. It can also be really scary, especially when there are so many things (pretty much everything) that our parents used to do for us that we now have to do for ourselves. From finding a job to paying our own bills, and, the worst one for me, making our own doctors appointments…

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Being an adult can make anyone want to be eight years old again. But, no matter how much we hate it, and no matter how much we resist…

2.  We all have to grow up at some point.

Growing up is a fact of life. There is nothing we can do to change that, so we might as well embrace it as much as possible. As much as I sometimes hate the fact that I am now an adult, the one thing I would probably hate more is being 12 years old again. It’s also a fact of life that we were all pretty cringe-y as kids. We all have things that we wouldn’t want to go back and relive again, so it’s probably a good thing that we can’t.

3.  It’s okay to have fun/be a kid sometimes.

As I said before, being an adult is hard. Sometimes we have to revert back to our childish ways to cope with the realities of being a grown-up, and there’s nothing wrong with that. Taking care of yourself is important, and if goofing around like a 10-year-old is your way of doing that, then more power to you!

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4.  Thinking happy thoughts is important.

Another way of coping with adulthood is thinking happy thoughts. Even if being an adult isn’t what’s getting you down, thinking happy thoughts is super important. Happy thoughts may not be able to make you fly, but they can make you feel better about yourself and ready to conquer whatever it is that’s troubling you.

5.  Having and using your imagination is important.

Like happy thoughts, using your imagination is also really important to overall happiness. Pretending you’re somewhere else is sometimes really useful. While you shouldn’t do this all the time, it is good as a brief coping mechanism for life’s troubles. You can also use your imagination to create art, music and written works, all of which I love using when things get tough. Using your imagination can make more than just yourself feel better, and it’s always a good feeling knowing that you made someone else’s day a little bit brighter.

6.  Go on adventures/try new things.

While I’ve never been one to willingly depart from my comfort zone, trying new things is an important part of life. By taking risks, going new places and trying new things, you might discover something that becomes an integral part of the rest of your life. And, even if this doesn’t happen, at least you (hopefully) had fun in the process.

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Rachel is a sophomore History Major and Women's Studies Minor hailing from Seneca Falls, NY. Her hobbies include reading, writing, spending time with friends, and spending more time than is humanly possible watching the TV show Once Upon a Time and reading/writing fan fiction. Her life goals include writing something that will later become famous and working as an important person at an important place.
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