When I went into the college program originally and was trying to find roommates that were under the age of 21, I was shocked. Why not take advantage of the couple years you have before you start taking classes based on your major. At least, that’s how it works at Marian – gen eds for two years then the fancy stuff. When I arrived, I still was finding out how many of the participants were over 21, some 25 even. I didn’t get it! I was sure there would be more students around my age.
Now that I am back and have experienced it all – I get it.
The whole experience is something that I believe is created for people that have gone all the way through college, and maybe in masters programs. This program is a step back from school and a leap right into reality. Paying rent, buying real people food, working, all while juggling social life; that’s just not really something a sophomore in college is really prepared for.
There’s also the whole idea of coming back. This is something I did not see coming in the slightest. For someone who wanted to come home so badly, I didn’t factor in how freaking hard it was going to be to adjust back to a normal schedule.
DCP screws up your schedule. That is just the long and short of it. I went from being able to nap during the afternoons to not getting home until 2am and not waking up until noon, just to get back into work in a couple hours. Maybe it doesn’t seem like that’s too hard, but day after day after day….you lose your sense of time and days and what sleep really is.
It is true that Disney tries and schedule you at least one day off. Technically you are supposed to have two, but coming from someone who worked the holidays, it doesn’t always happen. The days off for DCPers are typically made for your times to go to the parks and enjoy the things that WDW has to offer. Honestly, that is something I did not do. And wish that I would have.
To a certain extent.
I keep telling myself that I had two reasons for not going to the parks as much as perhaps my coworkers had – but I am not sure they are completely true. My main reason I guess is that I was dog ass tired. Which is true. I came from a summer where I would have at least one nap a day (usually 2 hours in length) to not being able to really sleep at all, let alone nap. So days that I had off, I slept and just recovered from working my butt off. I also for most of the program, had two classes to do, so those counted as my days off. Classes also were two to four hours in length. So I chickened out and would head back to the apartment to sleep and just relax before I went back to WOD.
As much as I may talk about how WOD was hard, I know that I didn’t have it the worst, and I do really appreciate those who did the harder jobs. I really do. I was not in custodial for Magic Kingdom. I was not working in the Emporium. Hell, I wasn’t even in a park at all! So I didn’t have the rush that Magic or Hollywood Studios, even Epcot have. Yes, I had the rush of everyone else, which was hard, and I did have It harder than some but not for all. But coming from nothing to that – I think that was the hardest part.
Arriving to do the college program in itself is a culture shock, and I can’t imagine what it must be like for the International College Programmers. For me it was a completely different state, and with that came a completely different state of mind. People in Florida are not anything close to what Hoosiers are. Granted, I was nestled right smack dab in the midst of all the crazy between Kissimmee and Orlando, so one, I was getting my first look at inner city life, and also being surrounded in tourists from all over the world who could care less if you need to get to work on time, because they wanna meet freaking Mickey Mouse. THAT. That was a culture shock. All the different languages and smells and personalities and norms that you met just within the first three days you are down there is overwhelming. Insanely so. And you work for Disney, a huge company that easily and proudly known, so the shock really has no ability to last for long at all.
I don’t wan’t to come off as someone that is trying to get others not to do the program. That isn’t the case in the slightest. I do, however, suggest strongly that you wait. Wait until you graduate. I am completely serious. Yes, it’s a long time to wait, but it’s worth your sanity to do so. You will enjoy your time so much more if you just wait. Then you get fully immearsed into the ‘real world’ and don’t have to retrain your brain back into being in school mode. And believe me, there is a huge difference.
Don’t do what I did. It wasn’t a smart move. Yes, I grew up a hell of a lot, but it wasn’t worth all this stress now that I am putting on myself.
Just wait. Just wait.