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

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

 

TRAINING & SETTLING IN | DCP SPRING 2019

The last few weeks have been an AH-MAZING whirlwind. Where to even begin! The magic of Disney has infected every corner of my life, and the joy I’ve felt is truly indescribable. Yes, there have been times that have been hard. I’ve felt homesickness hit missing my friends and family back home, feeling like I’m missing out. I’ve also been sick for about a week now with a runny nose, sore throat, and congestion. I was starting to feel better, but then had to work a whole day in the cold rain so I’m kind of back to square one. Thankfully, I’m off today and tomorrow and taking time to rest and re-charge to get back to normal.

On the exciting side, I have finished my training! I officially earned my ears. I had five tiers of training, which was A LOT of learning. So much information was thrown our way over the course of several days. It was a lot to do, but so much fun! My trainers made the experience so much more enjoyable. I learned registers, stock, mobility, and everything that comes with my new job. I worked my first solo shift (without a trainer) yesterday, and it seemed to go well. I’m excited to get to know my co-workers more and make magic for our guests.

When I’m not working, I’ve had the chance to visit each of the four parks. I spent my first trip to a park in Hollywood Studios, went to Magic Kingdom to ride the people mover and take all the casting door pictures, ate around the world at Epcot for one of my roommates’ birthday, and spent a day working towards earning my wilderness explore status with my roommate in DAK followed by a trip to Magic Kingdom to watch the firework show, Happily Ever After. It’s been so much fun to get to explore the parks whenever I want. Now that I officially have my main entrance pass, I can’t wait to start making fast passes to ride some of the bigger attractions that I have yet to experience (I’m talking about YOU rides in Pandora).

I’m also starting to learn my way around Orlando a little bit. I can find the nearest Target (which I’ve now visited three times in two weeks), Chick-Fil-A, and Starbucks, so I’m pretty much set. I’m still heavily relying on Waze to get me where I need to be, but I’m starting to recognize the roads it’s taking me on. Orlando is starting to feel like home and like I’ve been here forever. I’m definitely starting to get settled in here.

I’m excited to continue to learn and grow throghout my time here in Orlando. I know I’ll have some trying days (hello, 11 hour shift coming next week) but I’m ready to see the ways I power through it that will make me stronger. I’m also thrilled for all of the adventures to come up as I have more time to explore the parks.

I hope you all have had a fun January and are expetant and ready to grow in February.

❤ / Bailey

BIG NEWS: DCP LOCATION REVEAL

JAMBO! I am so excited because I received my itinerary for the Disney College Program today and will be working at Disney’s Animal Kingdom!! I am SO excited. I literally jumped up, started running, tripped, and fell into a wall out of excitement and adrenaline when I read it. I’ll be working park arrival merchandise, which from what I’ve heard could potentially include stroller/ECV rental, carts, some small shops, the shop outside of DAK (the abbreviation for Animal Kingdom), and a photo store. I could not be happier with my location. Animal Kingdom was my first choice because I adore all animals and the park, in general, is just so beautiful.

I actually haven’t spent much time in DAK before, and am really looking forward to getting to know the park better through work. Who wouldn’t want to work with a view of giraffes every day? I’m really pumped to see Pandora too because I haven’t been since it opened and have heard nothing but incredible things.

Within my itinerary, I also found out I will be living in The Commons which was my first choice apartment complex. It’s the only complex with a washer and dryer in the rooms, so I am so thankful for that! All of the girls I linked up with to be roommates got Commons as well, so fingers crossed that means we will be sharing an apartment. I move in at 10 am on Monday morning!

I’m honestly so stoked for this experience. God has been SO good thus far, and I know he’s got great things in store. I can’t wait for all the people God’s going to bring me to meet, lessons to be learned, and all the ways I’ll be grown into the person I’m meant to be.

SEE YA REAL SOON, ANIMAL KINGDOM!

❤ / Bailey

MUST HAVE MAY FAVORITES

Oh, May! The month where flowers bloom, school comes to an end, and allergies creep there way into the lives of victims. It’s a crazy time of the year. This May, I wrapped up my second year of college at East Tennessee State University making the Dean’s List!! This was one of my goals for this year and I am so happy that I made it. This semester was a struggle and a half with just life issues that the universe threw my way, so I’m pretty darn proud of myself for managing to stay consistent in going to class and staying on top of all my assignments. Speaking of being proud, I am also very proud of my little sister for graduating high school (which technically was June 1 but I’ll count it in my May lookback). It’s crazy to think that my own graduation was two years ago when it just feels like yesterday! I’m super pros of the person I’ve gotten to watch my sister become and know she’s going to do great things in this world. Now, onto my favorites.

Glossier You – this perfume became an instant favorite and I can’t go a day without spraying it on. It’s a scent that is meant to mesh with your natural smell and enhance it, so no two people have the exact same smell. For that reason, it is hard to describe but trust me when I say it is incredible. It stays on all day and isn’t one of those overpowering scents that are going to give you and everyone around you a headache. It’s just the best & I HIGHLY recommend. I’ve gotten so many compliments on it since I started wearing it.

Pura Vida Bracelets – I’ve been a fan of Pura Vida Bracelets for years, but every time summer rolls around I seem to be reaching for them all the time. They are the perfect summer accessory because they’re lightweight, easy to pack when you’re going on vacation, can get wet, and add a pop of color and fun to every outfit. Their new summer collection is also absolutely adorable. They also help support local artisans in Costa Rica and they offer a large number of charity bracelets for a range of different causes and organizations! Cute bracelets that are working to better the word, what could be better? I actually recently joined their rep program, so if you want to check them out and get 20% off your order use code BAILEYDEVORE20.

Chaco “Juniper” Sandals – Here comes an unpopular opinion coming from an (almost) 20-year-old college student….I’ve never been that big of a fan of Chacos. This comes with a good reason though. I find the regular, rubber Chacos to be pretty uncomfortable. My arch in my foot is pretty small, so the intense arch support that rubber Chacos provide is too much for my feet. However, I do think they are super cute. I had been looking at the leather Chacos online after seeing a friend wear them, so when I found some on sale at a discount shoe store in Asheville I fell in love. They are SO COMFORTABLE on my feet as the arch support isn’t hard like the rubber Chacos. They fit like a dream and I have been wearing them non-stop since I got them. They are also a lot dressier than the rubber Chaco sandals and easy to dress up or down.

Warm Luxe Cashmere by Yankee Candle – Honestly, the best thing I have ever smelled. I am obsessed with this candle. So far, I’ve burned through two medium and one small classic jars of this scent. I find it very relaxing & soothing. I love lighting it at night and it’s just the most comforting scent. It has notes of rich vanilla and warm cashmere that make it smell like a dream. Every time I’m in the Yankee Candle store with someone I make them smell it immediately. So, so good.

Looking ahead, I can already assume what some of my June favorites might entail. I’m going to Pennsylvania this month to see family & Harry Styles, my golden birthday is the 20th when I’ll be turning 20, and this month just opens up to the possibility of many new adventures. Here’s to June bringing in summer days, long nights, and many memories. I can’t wait to see what this summer holds! What are you looking forward to this summer?

xx,

Bails

 

 

 

 

 

GETTING IN THE GROOVE

How is it already February? I’m pretty sure I blinked once and January disappeared without a trace. It was a month full of craziness though and, to be honest, I’m glad it’s gone. So, what happened in January? Let’s start with a little look back at the month.

I started my fourth semester of college (my half-way point) and let’s just say it wasn’t the easiest of transitions. I recently decided on a new minor in business management, although I’m not betting a whole lot of money that this one will stick quite yet, and that means I’m delving into a world of completely uncharted territory for me: THE BUSINESS WORLD. My major in Advertising & Public Relations happens to be in the College of Arts & Sciences, so now I’m branching out a little bit for my minor into a whole new college. I was a little anxious about it! I mean, it’s business doesn’t everyone act super professional and wear suits to class every day? At least that’s what I thought. The Media & Communications program is where my heart is & it was scary to dive away from it even if it is just for my minor.

Classes have been going well, though! After not having a math class in over a year, I was a bit worried about taking accounting (it’s known to be a toughy) but I seem to have gotten my math groove back and am doing really well. My Writing for Public Relations and Science & the Modern World classes are online but I am actually learning a lot from them. My Writing for PR professor is the best and is constantly reassuring my writing. Writing is one of my passions but something I am always self-conscious of so it’s nice to have a professor boost you up. Public Relations Publications is definitely helping fuel my creative energy. Organizational Behavior & Management is a nice refresher of things that generally come as common sense. I’m feeling optimistic about this semester and it is definitely keeping me on my toes.

The start of the year also meant the start of a new job…well more like a new job title. Charming Charlie of Johnson City was closed a week before Christmas with no looking back. Luckily for me, First Christian Church – Johnson City offered me a permanent position transitioning from Communications Intern to Communications Assistant. With this new role came more hours, more responsibilities, and more growth. I get to put into action the things that I am learning in the classroom which means I’m getting real-life experience, and not to mention a great portfolio boost.

My main focus for January was finding a good balance. I had to learn how to balance all of the new classes I’m taking this semester, then combine that with my work schedule, and it took a couple of weeks. I struggle with anxiety and worry a lot this month, and there’s been a lot going on that has just kept my mind racing. There’s a lot going on, already, in February. Here is a list of some things I’m really excited about & some I’m quite nervous about:

  • My first accounting test is on 2/12
  • I’m having an ultrasound on 2/13  to check my Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (Happy early Valentine’s Day to me)
  • As cheesy as it is I have a cute, pink outfit planned for Valentine’s Day
  • I’ve got an appointment made with my advisor to make a GRADUATION PLAN
  • I’m going to Orlando, FL at the end of the month to a conference called Exponential & I could not be more excited

Now that we are in the second month of 2018 and I’ve gotten into a groove, I have chosen a word to represent my goal for this year to be CREATE. I often suppress my creative side out of fear of not being good enough, but I have come to realize that I cannot let that stop me. Creativity has so much potential and power for good. I also want to help create joy, happiness, and good vibes in the lives of others. Something I never want anyone to forget is that we were created to do great things and therefore are always working towards creating great things.

I hope you all are off to a good start to 2018! If you had to pick one word to represent your goal/mission for 2018 what would it be? Let me know in the comments, let’s have a chat!

xx,

Bailey