LOSING CONTROL OF THE PLAN

There’s so much I feel like I want to talk about right now, it’s kind of crazy. So, here I am! It’s currently been 17 days since I last left my house due to the COVID-19 quarantine. So much has changed in the last 17 days that I’m not even sure where to begin.

I’m starting to get used to being at home and working remotely. I’m an extrovert, so finding energy is pretty hard. I’ve had two days thus far where I woke up with zero energy or drive. You don’t realize just how much getting out of the house and around other people affects your energy until you’re forced to stay inside. I’ve learned that on those days, it’s just better to work in bed. I try to keep up a “getting ready” routine, but on the days when I feel low, I need to just grab my laptop in bed. We found out the other day that graduation commencement is canceled, and that really didn’t help.

Most people who know me know I’m constantly planning things. I carry my Passion Planner everywhere I got, put my plans into every device calendar I have and am constantly populating Pinterest boards with ideas. It’s easy, during this season, to think “nothing is turning out the way I planned!” I had such high expectations for this year. I wanted to spend time with friends, go on trips that would bond us, celebrate graduating college with my friends and family, and move back to Orlando. I had outfits envisioned, suitcases purchased, poses chosen for photos, and announcements designed. Not a single one of those is happening. It’s a hard reality to face for a planner. I’ve had to white-out so much in my planner for the next few weeks, and it’s honestly depressing to dwell on. We’re in a state in the world where planning literally anything is practically impossible. Things are continuously changing and we don’t know what we’re going to face tomorrow. Losing control in this way has been a hard pill for me to swallow.

However, I know this season is teaching me. Through continuous change, disappointment, and grieving, I will learn. I will learn to be happy with living in the moment. I will learn to cherish what I have even more. I will learn to keep rising. I will learn to let go of control. The truth is, the plan has never been mine. God has had a plan for my life since day one. A plan I try my best to follow, but a plan that will inevitably be greater than I could even start to imagine. If I just keep listening and dreaming, I’ll find my way to the ultimate plan.

There will be more bumps in the road. What the world is experiencing right now has changed everything. Society as we know it will likely never be the same. So, apparently, the world was in need of a big change. Even if we can’t see it right now behind all the statistics, sorrow, and disappointments, the future is bright. Think of how much stronger we’ll all be once we make it through. We are quite literally living through what will be chapters worth of future generations History books. It’ll be quite the story to tell one day!

In the meantime, I will continue going day-by-day. I’ll stay at home, social distance, and wash my hands to help keep from spreading this nasty virus and try to ignore my hypochondriac voice in my head. I’ll try my best to find the bright spots in the midst of this crazy time. It can be hard to be thankful right now, but it’s important to take note of even the small things. Here are some of mine:

  • Catching up with my DCP friends that will always be family, no matter the distance.
  • Having a yard to wander around in for some sunshine.
  • The time to pick up some new hobbies and get things done.
  • Stray cats trusting me to be their friend.
  • The Comfy my mom bought me. AKA – my quarantine universe.
  • Access to healthcare & all those who are working it.
  • My family doing their best to keep us all sane while in a house together.
  • Vlogs that make life seem more normal.
  • Nintendo Switch & Animal Crossing (my new obsession – add me as a friend on Switch).
  • My friends who I’m able to stay in touch with via phones, Zoom, & Snapchat.
  • Having a space to stay healthy & safe.

Don’t forget to take a moment to be thankful during this season. It may feel like we’re all living through a nightmare, but we’ll wake up from it into a new tomorrow.

❤ / Bail

A NOTE TO THE CLASS OF 2020

Hey class of 2020,

It felt important to write this, although I’m not quite sure where to begin. I know, things are really crazy right now. Most of us are probably feeling a bit down in the dumps. Our classes are being pushed online, events we’ve been looking forward to are being canceled,  and who even knows if we’ll have a commencement ceremony any time soon. It’s a tough time to be in the class of 2020.

I know, I’m right there with you! I got the email yesterday that the rest of my semester will be spent online. It broke my heart. I think I cried more in the last day than I have in the last month. My commencement is still up in the air as they have yet to make that decision. There’s a lot of emotions going around, and it’s okay to feel this way. I know the whole world is dealing with this COVID-19 pandemic, but that doesn’t lessen the hurt that we’re feeling.

It’s okay to be mad, upset, or sad. This was supposed to be a joyous season. One full of celebrations and that feeling of success as we walked across the stage to receive our diplomas. We were supposed to be able to see our friends in class every day, pass by old friends as we’re running across campus to our next class, laugh with the classmates that have become like family while we’re down to our last brain cell staying up late working on those final projects. Now, we’re all self-quarantined and trying our best to pull off the rest of our classes from home. It’s probably now the way any of us were expecting our last semester would go, I know it’s never what I had in mind.

I think what hurts the most is not getting those last memories in with friends. I was looking forward to trips spent with my department and a team that I’ve grown so close with after we’ve worked so hard all semester. I wanted those late nights spent in the library or Warf-Pickel as we get those last group projects wrapped up. I’ll miss just walking into class and being able to laugh with my classmates who have become close friends and the professors who have played an integral part in shaping me into who I am today. A lot of whom, we’ve stuck together since Freshman or Sophomore year. I was excited to scream and cheer for each of my friends as their name gets called to walk across that stage. Now, I don’t even know if I’ll see some of them in-person until our commencement day comes, and that makes me sad.

Regardless of all the pain, don’t let this diminish the incredible work you’ve done. We’ve all worked really hard the past four years, and fought our entire lives, and we deserve the recognition and feeling of success for pulling it all off. Heck, I’m proud of us for going through what we are right now. I bet not many classes can say they had their whole semester uprooted during spring break. That in itself is something to be proud of. It shows how much stronger we are and that we are truly able to get through anything. Keep pushing, keep working hard, and keep your head up. Celebrate those honors you received, be excited about passing those really hard classes, and enjoy the fact that you made it through those rough presentations. The class of 2020 is worth celebrating big.

I know things will be hard for a while. Who knows how much longer things will be like this. If we all listen and practice social distancing and stay at home, hopefully, things will clear up soon. Either way, moving on is going to be hard. I know I’m already scared of what the job world is going to look like after this hit the economy is taking. Joining the “real world” is scary enough, now we’re delving into what seems like a “post-apocalyptic” world. It’s scary and it’s unknown. It’s also going to make us one of the strongest generations out there.

To the class of 2020, know I’m so proud of you. I’m proud to be one of you and I can’t wait for the day when we can all celebrate together. Keep going strong in your online classes. Don’t give up. It’s okay to be upset, but don’t forget to proud. You’re doing amazing, unthinkable things.

Especially to my fellow Bucs – I’m sending all my love. Y’all mean the world to me.

❤ / Bailey

PS – Don’t forget to stay in touch! Snapchat and FaceTime your friends relentlessly. We all need a little extra friend time these days.

SEEING THE FINISH LINE | THE FINAL YEAR

I registered for my last semester of college today…and I have no clue how to feel! I know I say this a lot, bu this year is just flying by. It seems like just yesterday I was moving to Orlando to do the Disney College program, but at this point I’ve been home for a longer amount of time than I was there. With all the senior year busy-ness and things to do, I haven’t gotten much time to sit down and write for myself (most of my writing energy is spent on my Writing for Radio, TV, & Film class), but in this moment I feel like I need to mentally process.

I’m almost done with college. I only have two classes required to graduate, but I have to maintain 15 credit hours for my scholarship so I registered for five classes next semester. I am stoked to have been asked to be a part of the National Student Advertising Competition team for next semester (plus the added bonus of it filling up some of those 15 credit hours) and working with what I’m sure will be an amazing group of students! Along with that, I’ll be taking Communication Law (probably the class that scares me the most, especially at 8 am), Practical Reasoning, Solving the Puzzle of Life, and Editing. Those classes and two exit exams are the only thing in the way of me and that fancy piece of paper that says I know things!

At this point, I’m having mixed feeling about graduating. I am SO excited to be going into a career field that I love and am so passionate about, but I also feel the ever-growing presence of adulthood looming over my shoulder. Not to mention, all of this comes with a whole lot of decisions to make within the next few months. Do I move somewhere bigger like Knoxville, Nashville, or Charlotte? Do I go back to Orlando and return to work for Disney? How many Disney Professional Internships do I want to apply for? Do I really want to go so far away from my family?

It’s a lot for a gal to think about!

I’m having to constantly remind myself that there is time to figure it all out. I need to make intentional space to relax and enjoy the fun things that come with being in college while I can. I won’t be able to get this time in my life back, so I need to really cherish it while I can! Go to club meetings, go on trips, say yes to hanging out with friends more often, and stop getting inside my own head!

The thing that brings me peace is knowing that God will put me right where I need to be. I’m leaning in and trying to listen hard as to just where God is telling me to be. If Disney is the move, doors will open, and if somewhere else is the path then I’ll follow. I’ve been so fortunate to already have so many amazing experiences and teachers in my life that have given me the tools to be successful. They will also always be there for me and I am so thankful for their influence in my life. I know the department of Media and Communication was exactly where I was supposed to be and I’ll always be tied to them no matter where I end up. Seriously, the best people are in that department! I couldn’t be dreaming this big and knowing I’m ready to take on the world without them.

Between school, working two jobs, and planning for the future, it’s been a busy season of life! I don’t see it slowing down anytime soon but I’m along for the ride and will keep pushing forward. I have been able to squeeze in some fun into senior year! My DCP twin, Emily, came to visit me and I gave her the grand tour of small town southern living. We carved pumpkins, watched Hocus Pocus, visited downtown Johnson City, went to the Woolly Worm Festival in Banner Elk, and finished the weekend off with a stop at Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. in Asheville before heading to the airport. Plus, many good food stops in between. What good East Tennessean would I be if I didn’t have her experience Pal’s? I went to Dollywood with my mom and sister to see the pumpkin lights and get in my missing fix of ride adrenaline, visited my grandparents for some much needed Mam-Maw home cooking, and spent to re-connecting with some friends I haven’t seen in a while.

It’s a complex season of life I’m in, but one that is reminding me to be present and thankful. I’m thankful for every opportunity I get to spend time with friends and family, thankful for my professors that believe in me and the great things I can do, and overall just thankful for each new day. While I’m trying to strike that balance between planning for the future and enjoying the now, I’m milking what I can out of this phase of life. It’s a busy one, but one I’m thankful for nonetheless.

I hope whatever season of life you may be in you’re able to find the joy and space to create some happiness!

❤ / Bail

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A Life Update | The Final Year

So, it’s been a little bit of time since I’ve gotten the chance to sit down and write for myself. Senior year is no joke! I went into it with a rather large senioritis complex that was immediately shot down when I had to write a 15-page paper within the first week. Yeah, not what I expected. In order to help me chronicle my senior year (and force me to make more time to write for myself) I want to start somewhat of a series entitled “The Final Year.” It will be something I can look back on and also hopefully help others as they enter their final year of college & all the stress that comes with it.

Coming back to school was a lot weirder than I expected. I put a lot of pressure on going back to school, hoping it would make the transition home from Disney a little easier. What I didn’t think about was how weird it would feel to be back on campus. I low-key felt like a Freshman when I was walking around and re-associating myself with ETSU. It wasn’t until I started hanging out with friends and getting to know my classmates better that I actually began returning to a semi-normal human being.

Things have been overwhelming as I tried to balance classes, working two jobs, dog sitting, and trying to force myself out of the funk I’d been in all summer. Some of the classes I thought would be fun electives to take were turning out to be WAY more busywork than my senioritis expected. In the same sphere, I am loving my capstone class this semester. We’re getting hands-on experience working with clients and I have two of the best professors I could have hoped for co-teaching the class. When I found that out, I was SO excited!

I’m finally finding my rhythm again and am starting to feel more normal. The post-DCP depression also seems to be lowering its toll on my life. I still get feelings of sadness and missing my favorite place on earth and all my friends who are now scattered across the country, but Johnson City is starting to feel more like home again. I’m hanging out with friends more and forcing myself to get out and stop sitting in my room watching DCP vlogs all evening.

Other than post-DCP depression, my time at Disney has also given me a renewed sense of passion in what I’m doing. I actually joined my department’s club that I’d been meaning to join since Freshman year, am an account executive for my group’s capstone project, and overall am thinking more and more about where my niche and desire to be is in the world of Advertising, Public Relations, & Communications. I’m also considering grad school, which if you could tell freshman me that I would have laughed right in your face. By the end of the semester I may be singing a different tune, but it’s something I’m looking into as a possibility for after May.

Some other fun life updates:

  • I got new glasses & have actually worn them on a consistent basis. Apparently, what normal people could see at 100 ft away I have to be 20 ft or close to see. Whoops! So, sorry if I’ve squinted at you from a distance recently. It’s not that I was judging you, I just couldn’t see who was there!
  • I still miss Disney. I’m still hoping to return to work for Disney. I’ve been looking into Professional Internships for post-grad life, but I need to take a pause from overthinking it all and try to enjoy this semester and the time I have left before applications open in January.
  • Along with working at First Christian Church again, I have accepted a position with Trinity Arts Center helping create and manage social media content! I have a lot of love for TAC as it was my second home where I danced six days a week for eight years of my life. It’s really refreshing to be back and in a new way utilizing what I’m studying! Super grateful for the opportunity!!
  • One of my best friends, also known as my DCP twin, Emily is coming to visit me in my hometown next weekend!! I’m so excited to show her around small town, Southern USA and just be able to spend time with her before she moves back to Australia in January.
  • I’m back on that pet sitting grind so I’ve gotten to hang out with a bunch of adorable furry friends!
  • I may or may not have a return trip in the works to hit up a Disney Christmas Party…fingers crossed!!
  • Despite the animosity I have towards the impact it’s had on my tuition, I finally went to an ETSU football game! Figured so much of my money went into building that stadium I should at least sit in it once.
  • I’ve started learning how to cook like a real adult! If you know me, you’ll know this is quite the accomplishment as I usually burn scrambled eggs. Shout to Hello Fresh for making it super easy & fun!

Coming home from Disney was a way bigger challenge than I’d expected. While I’ve been struggling with anxiety, panic attacks, chronic illness, and general adjusting, I think I’m finally getting to a place of normality again. I’m discovering new passions, reviving friendships, and finding ways to help my mental health. I hope that whether you’re facing a similar season of challenges, you see a light at the end that is pushing you towards something better!

❤ / Bail

A LIFE UPDATE | DCP SPRING 2019

First of all, sorry I’ve been a little MIA on the updates. I know a lot of people back home have enjoyed staying connected through reading my posts (at least I hope so). I’ve been a little busy! Between work, school, and hanging out with friends, I haven’t had much time to myself. But, here I am, back on the blog with a life update. Buckle up, because my brain is ready for a dump.

Time is a weird concept. I think I say that a lot, but especially recently. As I continue to settle into life in Orlando, I’m constantly surprised by time. The days run together and the thoughts of what my life used to be are becoming fainter. Every day that I drive into work underneath the Walt Disney World sign I have to pinch myself as a reminder that this isn’t always what my life has been like. My program is going by so fast, and yet it feels like I’ve been here forever. That’s something I’m not too mad about either. I’m glad this place feels like home.

I was looking at my Snapchat memories and “on this day” last year was the last time I was in Orlando. I was here with a group of amazing people from First Christian Church for a conference called Exponential. On that day I was having so much fun with people I love and didn’t have a clue where my life would take me. One year later and I’m back in Orlando, have been living here for over a month and a half, and am working for Walt Disney World. Crazy, right? I can’t believe that was a whole year ago and how much has changed since then.

I do miss home and the people there. I miss my family and friends. I miss my cat and all the fur babies I pet sit for. I’m extra thankful for things like Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and FaceTime that keep me plugged into people’s lives back home so I don’t have such a big case of FOMO.

I’m also thinking a lot about the future. Do I want to apply for a DCP extension and stay in Orlando through the Summer? Is Orlando where I want to move to post graduation in 2020? Do I want to do a professional internship with Disney at some point? All very important questions that I need to try and figure out. I know whatever happens, it is God’s plan, but it’s easy to start to worry and contemplate.

For now, I’m just taking things day by day and trying to soak up every moment that I can. I’m still in love with where I work and the people I work with. Of course, there are hard days when dealing with thousands of people, but the magical moments like having a kid exclaim, “this has been the BEST DAY EVER,” make them seem so much smaller. My coworkers also make coming to work every day a joy. I honestly miss them when I’m off (but enjoy having time to rest, shop, & explore). They’re quickly becoming some of my favorite people and close friends. I can’t say enough good things about how this program is going.

I hope everyone is doing well! I miss all y’all in Tennessee, and am sending you my love.

❤ / Bail

ONE MONTH IN | DCP SPRING 2019

It’s been one month until since my DCP journey began and I moved into my apartment in Orlando. What is time? I can’t believe so much time has already passed when it feels like just yesterday I was leaving the snowy mountains of Tennessee. It’s been a month full of learning, growing, immense joy, and some stress all mixed together.

Overall, my DCP has been an amazing experience already. I’ve been learning constantly, about my job, guest interaction, doing things on my own, and myself in general. I love my job and what I’m doing, mostly in part thanks to the people I work with. My coworkers are amazing and I have great leaders and coordinators who have answered my many questions and are just awesome to work with.

I get to talk to so many new people every day and I’ve enjoyed seeing the joy on people’s faces as they describe the fun they’ve had at Animal Kingdom. It’s especially rewarding when coming from a little kid. Seeing them spring up from their strollers telling me it’s been the “best day ever” or receiving a surprise hug from a little girl that got to see so many “cool animals.” Seeing people smiling and excited about what they’ve experienced is why I wanted to do this program. I wanted to work for a company that excels at making people happy!

Of course, I have had my rough days. Not so much when dealing with guests, but more so when dealing with myself. It’s been hard to be so far away from my family friends and back at home. A lot of the people I hold dear to my heart are struggling through something right now and a big part of me wishes I could be there to help out. I pray for them constantly and send any support I can from where I’m at, but I do wish I could do more.

I also had my first mini-crisis yesterday. I lost my keys. Yeah, I made an oops! Not only was it my car key, but my apartment key was also attached. You can imagine how that would be an issue. I knew there were only a few places they could be, but no matter how hard I searched I couldn’t find them! I may have gone into full-on panic mode. I went the whole day without them and had to spend the day worrying about who could possibly have them or if I was going to have to get a new apartment key and somehow manage to get someone to make me a new car key! I had to miss out on galentine’s day brunch because of it which just added onto my already bummed feeling. This was the first unfortunate thing to happen while I’ve been here so that probably amplified my anxiety about it all. Luckily, they were found by last night underneath the passenger seat of one of my roommate’s cars. I’m so thankful to have them back and will now be stapling them to my body (okay, maybe not that extreme but you get what I mean).

Other than the little hiccups and stresses that come with adjusting to being on my own, I have had the best time here in Orlando. I’m loving going to the parks with my days off, am enjoying getting to know my amazing coworkers, and making really great friends! Just from this one month, I have been reminded over and over again that this is the place I am meant to be at right now. God is continuing to reveal that this is a part of the plan for my life, and I couldn’t be happier with the phase of life I’m in.

Here’s to the next month of my program and everything that it will hold!

</3, Bailey

 

WHAT I’M HOPING 2019 WILL HOLD

I am so stoked for 2019. I try to stay pretty optimistic from day-to-day, but I am immensely optimistic about everything that 2019 is about to hold. So many exciting things are about to happen! In two weeks from today, I will be checking in to my apartment in Orlando and starting what I’m sure will be the biggest adventure of my life thus far.

As I’m doing a lot of preparing for my big move, I also am thinking through everything I want to accomplish this year. There’s a lot to look forward to and a lot of things to strive towards completing! I have a separate bucket list for my Disney College Program (blog post about that to come soon), but of course, there will be some overlap with my overarching goals for the new year. So, here are my goals for 2019:

Spend more time reading the Bible. | It’s no secret that I’m not a fan of reading. I have a very small attention span and am an audible learner, so reading has never really been my thing. Despite that, I know I need to be spending more time investing in the word of God in order to grow spiritually. I’ve remained pretty consistent the last month with following the reading plan for certain chapters that is in my Bible, and want that to carry on throughout 2019. My home church is doing a “New Testament in a Year” challenge and I hope to maintain the reading schedule even while I’m away in Orlando.

Make the most out of every experience. | I can often fall to fear when it comes to stepping outside my comfort zone. FOMO is something I deal with a lot and I want to rid myself of it. I’m going to have to overcome a lot of fears as I make the move to Orlando, and I want to make sure I don’t let anything stop me from making the most of my College Program. Aside from the DCP, I just want to make sure I fully soak in everything 2019 has to offer.

Continue making the Dean’s List & getting involved on campus. | I’ll still be enrolled full-time for the Spring semester through online classes at ETSU. I hope to maintain the grades I’ve been accomplishing the last two semesters even in the midst of working at Disney World and being in Orlando. In the Fall, I will start my SENIOR YEAR of college. That is so crazy!! I cannot wait to see what all my last year of college has in store. I’m excited to get involved with more clubs and soak in everything I’ll learn from my AH-MAZING professors in my department.

Work on intentionally maintaining friendships. | With cell phones and social media, it would seem like it’s super easy to maintain friendships at a distance. But, with the busy-ness of life, it can be really hard to truly stay connected in one another’s lives. I want to spend more time with people this year intentionally building relationships and supporting my friends all the time. I’m excited about the friendships I’ll gain in Florida and hope to stay in touch, to the best of my ability, with my friends back in Tennessee while I’m gone.

Learn to be confident when I’m by myself. | One of the reasons I’m doing the DCP is in order to gain a sense of independence. I want to gain confidence in knowing that I can be striving and happy by myself. It’s easy for me to attach who I am to other people and feel really uncomfortable doing things on my own. I want to feel confident going to the parks by myself on some off days, eating by myself, and making new friends in places where I find myself not knowing anyone.

What are some of your goals and/or things you’re looking forward to in 2019?

❤ / Bail

 

2018 IN REVIEW

At the end of last year, I wrote a blog post entitled “2017 in Review (A short story on why I’m really glad it’s over.” In the spirit of consistency and because I’d like to think I’ll enjoy looking back on posts like this when I’m old with children, many rescue dogs, and even worse knees, I’ve decided to write a similar post about 2018. I’m also glad 2018 is over but in a completely different way than the year prior. So, what happened in 2018?

I have to address the biggest thing first even though it didn’t happen until September (so later in the year), I GOT INTO THE DISNEY COLLEGE PROGRAM. I’d say that this is definitely the highlight of 2018. I know I’ve already talked about Disney a lot so I won’t go on too much, but it’s definitely one of the reasons I’m glad 2018 is almost over. I am so ready for it to be 2019 so I can be in Disney World chasing down a dream I’ve had for a long time. I’m so optimistic about this experience and can’t wait to dive right into it. As of right now, I’m 19 days away from checking in to my apartment and getting it all started.

School this year went really well. My Spring semester I completed one of my goals of the year which was to ake the Dean’s List! I’m happy to say, I have likely made it again for the Fall 2018 semester! The actual list won’t be out until January but I made all A’s so I think it’s safe to say I made it on the list. The Fall semester was a really great semester. I got to work with an AMAZING group of people for my Audience Research class on a project. I honestly don’t think I could’ve created a better group of people. We all worked really hard, had fun, and did a great job. Every semester I fall more and more in love with the department I’m in, my fellow students, and the faculty and professors who have taught me everything I know. I absolutely love my school and have no doubts that I made the right decision choosing to go to ETSU.

In the realm of travel this year, we went to Pennsylvania this summer to spend time with family. We ate lots of Amish pretzels and doughnuts, went to many farmer’s markets, shared lots of laughs, and ate plenty of Hershey’s sweets. It was also just so great to spend time with my cousin, her husband, and their two sweet little boys. The two of them had grown up so much since we’d seen them last year and it was so fun to see their personalities developing and shine through. Plus, while we were in Pennsylvania we got to see Harry Styles at Hersheypark. He put on an incredible performance and was so engaged with the audience. Honestly, one of the best concerts I’ve been to. That was the only major trip we took this year, but I’m thankfully for the time spent in my hometown. I’ll likely be missing this place in a few months time.

I continued to fall in love with work this year and the area that I’m studying to go into. I’m so lucky to be able to already be working a job in the field I hope to be in post-graduation (media & communications/ advertising & PR), and for that, I couldn’t be more thankful. I have an amazing group of coworkers who make every day an enjoyable one and I never dread a day of work. The entire staff is amazing, the team I work on is some of the most talented and brightest people I know, and my supervisor is the absolute best. I love where I work and I’m gonna miss them so much next semester.

2018 was quite a year. For me, it was overall good, but for those around me, I know it was a challenge. Several family members faced severe health issues, friends were faced with losing loved ones, and the whole world as a whole seems to be struggling with something. It did make me worry a lot about taking care of those around me and being the best support system I can be. Despite all of the bad, I continuously strove to remind myself (and hopefully convince others) that through it all, God has a plan. This was a big thing I learned in 2018. I always knew it was true but don’t know that I actually put full trust in it until this year. Being able to fully trust in a plan that is greater than my own is something that can free your heart of anxiety and worry, and for that, I’m grateful.

I’m thankful for the memories made, lessons learned, and strength grown throughout 2018, and am excited to see what all 2019 has in store. For obvious reasons, I am so ready for 2019 to be here and cannot wait to get the year started in Disney World! So, here’s to 2018! Thank you for everything you held and have prepared us for in 2019.

What are you excited about for 2019?

❤ / Bailey

WHEN YOU’RE ONE MONTH AWAY

What even is time? It goes by so fast that I’m not even sure it exists. I say this because as of today I am ONE MONTH AWAY FROM MOVING TO ORLANDO. I cannot believe that it is coming up so fast. It has also made me realize that I really need to get on top of my preparation game! I have a good reason for not doing much preparing so far, which is because I wanted to let myself focus on finishing this semester of school. I knew the minute I started focusing most of my energy on Disney, my will to do any school work would go out the window. It was hard enough to focus on school as it was, so I didn’t need to give myself any excuses to dive into the hole of non-focus.

I am happy to say that I am officially done with my fifth semester of college! I’ve only got three more semesters and then I get to graduate (again I say, WHAT EVEN?). I’m really proud of how I performed this semester and honestly has a really great one. I got the opportunity to work on a project with some INCREDIBLE fellow advertising/PR students, got into the Disney College Program, managed to maintain perfect attendance in a class, hopefully, made the Dean’s List (still waiting on the final grades, but pretty sure I did it), got plugged in more on campus, worked 29 hours a week outside of school, took 15 credit hours, and also realized I can officially now apply to graduate. It’s been a TIME.

Now, I’m leaving campus for a semester! I will be maintaining full-time status through ETSU by taking 15 credit hours of online classes while I’m at Orlando. I’m a little nervous about balancing classes and the DCP, but my advisor assured me that I can do it and Disney offers a great way to let you maintain your school. I’ll be applying for distance learning which will mean, if accepted, I’ll get a specific time/day that will be the same every week that is dedicated time-off to work on schoolwork. Hopefully, once I let my professors know of my situation they’ll be able to work with me as well.

So, what’s up next in the DCP process? I need to start packing! Housing registration opened a few days ago and I got linked up with my three roomies and we chose our preferences. It feels good that we got that done, and can now move on to prepping. I need to start getting things packed, buy things I know I’ll need to bring with me, get my car checked out to make sure everything’s gonna be good to drive to Orlando (yay for a 10-hour drive), have an amazing Christmas with loved ones, make a bomb playlist to listen to on the drive, and make sure to spend as much time as possible with my Tennessee friends before I go.

There is a lot to do in the next month, but I am so excited! I cannot tell you how much the excitement is building up in me to get to Disney World. This is something I’ve been dreaming of for four years, and to have it so close is so incredible. I’m having a hard time even believing this is going to be my life, and I don’t think it will hit me until I start the drive there. I don’t know fully what’s in store for me, but I know God’s got me on the path to a great adventure.

❤ / Bailey

WHY I’M DOING THE DISNEY COLLEGE PROGRAM

HIYA, PALS! I’m currently wrapped up in a fuzzy blanket with my cat under the blanket with me, laying next to a space heater, and watching DCP vlogs while snowmageddon 2018 is hitting East Tennessee. It’s a pretty great way to spend a Sunday if you ask me. I am thinking lots today about the Disney College Program as the semester of school has come to a near end and I now have time to think about it more! I’m super excited as I’m a little over a month away from moving, and realizing I should probably start getting myself more prepared.

One thing that I’ve felt lingering anytime I mention to Disney College Program is, why am I doing it? It’s something that I ask myself (because self-doubt looms within me so I have to talk myself down from thinking I’m making a bad decision) frequently. This is a complex question and one that I can probably talk about for hours, so to save myself and you reading this some time, I’ll make the answer into a list!

  1. I LOVE DISNEY. I’ve always been a fan of Disney! From the movies to the music to the parks I love it all. For my 16th birthday trip I chose to go to Disney World, I begged to go there for a day for my 18th birthday, and it truly is just one of my happiest places on earth. To be able to spend every day there for four months, learn more about it, and get to be a part of the magic is just a dream come true! Plus, who wouldn’t love getting to go to the parks every day? I haven’t been since Pandora opened at DAK or Toy Story Land in Hollywood Studios, so I am thrilled to get to finally explore those.
  2. Let’s talk about a resume boost. This experience is a huge resume booster for anyone who participates. Disney is such a major and strict company that upholds you to such high standards, so to work there prepares you for work pretty much anywhere.
  3. Networking and career enhancement opportunities! To be completely honest, I would absolutely love to work in advertising and public relations for Disney one day. As I am getting closer to graduating, I’m starting to get a lot more career focused and thinking more about what exactly I want to do post-graduation. My focus right now is more on the PR event planning side of my major, and to be able to plan events/launches for Disney would be incredible. Hopefully, while I’m on the program I can meet a lot of people in the industry and learn from Disney professionals in my career field.
  4. I need to be on my own. That may be a little dramatic, but it’s true. The rest of the maturing I need to do before graduating from college and entering the “real world” needs to be done outside of my comfort zone. I feel like I’m very mature for my age, but need to take that final step out of my parent’s house, and why not move 10 hours away from them! I need to face my fear of being alone and out of my norm in order to have a life changing experience.
  5. This life is short, I want to make some memories! That sounds like a movie quote but I’m not sure from where and I’m too lazy to google it (if you know where it’s from, let me know). This experience is bound to be chock full of amazing memories and friends made. I’m not often the type of person to go on an adventure alone like this, but I was to push myself in order to make the most of this amazing life I’ve been given!

I hope this may have answered some of the questions people have been asking me as to why I’m doing to Disney College Program. I don’t feel like I have to answer anyone’s questioning of me doing this program, but I also want to think it out for myself. I love my life, my friends, and my school now, but they’ll all be here when I get back! Hopefully, some of them can come to visit me too. I can’t wait to make Disney World my home.

</3 Bailey