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"Shouldn't I Be Graduating College Right Now?"

I believe there are choices we make that can instantly take us in a new direction in our lives. We all have the ability to create the life we want, but we also have the ability to go down the wrong paths in life. There are so many choices we make in life that get us to where we are now. I want to dig a little deeper into the paths I chose to take and where I would be now if I didn't choose the path I chose three years ago..

As I am looking at my life from the outside in, I know in this moment, I "should" be graduating college right now alongside my bestfriend I grew up with. So why am I not graduating right now?

The choice that I believed changed my education path was the choice I made after high school.

Growing up in a small, small town in North Carolina, I had always felt like I needed to be somewhere bigger that matched my big personality. The moment I graduated high school, I felt so incredibly lost. As my classmates moved off to new states and cities and some began traveling the world, I was staying in the small town I had lived in for the past 17 years for college. I quickly realized that the friend group I had in high school was just that: my friend group in high school. They would remain in the closed chapter of my life. Freshman year of college began and I was so unmotivated. To top it off, I spent the end of freshman year on bed rest for months due to a surgery. I remember just laying in bed, feeling like I needed something to change and change quick. This was the most physically painful and draining time in my life.

As I was laying in bed, I was scrolling on Facebook when I saw an ad for The Disney College Program. It read, "Paid internship for six months to a year at Disney World or Disneyland - housing provided."

It was the end of my freshman year in college when I decided to apply for the internship. Months later, I was asked by MICKEY HIMSELF to come work for him at Disney World. It was a dream. I could go into detail about this dream of working on Main Street USA, but I'll save that for another time. Once I had began the internship, I had the choice to move back home after six months-a year or go part time or full time with Disney. I'm going to let you guys in on a little secret.. I knew I wouldn't be leaving Florida after seeing the fireworks light up the sky above Cinderella's Castle for the first time. Deep down, I knew this path in life was meant for me to find. While having the time of my life at Disney, I definitely noticed I was putting college as second priority on my list at this point, while I was only taking 2-3 online classes a semester.. Because I was moving to Florida officially, I needed to transfer colleges and fast, but I wasn't being proactive on applying to new schools. I felt college quickly fading away into the background. I had convinced myself that if I took a semester off, I would focus on transferring colleges for the next semester, but in reality I was feeling unsure about transferring colleges because I didn't want to have to ask my family for financial help with school.. So here I was, working for Disney, not really in college anymore..... Until something magical happened.

After about two weeks of being part-time at Disney, Disney announced they would pay for their cast members to earn degrees and go to college. Mickey Mouse must have known I wasn't planning on going to school to just announce that the company would pay for my full tuition to college?!!??!?!!??

So yes, I am in college still, earning my Bachelors in Communications in Media as I type, BUT I graduated in 2016 from high school and all my high school classmates are graduating around me while I am still a year or two away from graduating. Working 30+ hours a week and being a full time student would be a little harder to handle, so I am considering myself as a part-time student. And guess what? I'm happy with what I am doing and I am going to enjoy where I am currently in life, what I am doing for work, and how I am doing everything to fulfil my current dreams. Although I am taking a slower route to finishing college (I call it the turtle route; slow and steady wins the race), I am getting to live out a magical dream where I am a Fairy Godmother In Training getting to transform girls and boys into princesses and knights every single day.

So not only did this choice to move to Florida led me to a slower (but free) education path, it led me to working for the most magical place on earth. I work one of my dream jobs where anyone that sees me at work can tell I am in my element and they can see the pure joy in my squinty eyes and cheeky smile. I mean come on, I SING to princess music all day long and dance around in a cute fairy dress!

And even though princesses usually are the ones to win a prince's heart, I actually found myself a prince charming LITERALLY in front of Cinderella's Castle. After true loves kiss, we have been together ever since (A little over a year and seven months now). Funny story, we both actually moved here to Florida around the same time for the Disney College Program. When I worked up the courage to talk to him on Main Street USA, I found out he had been roommates with my friend for six months before I met him!!! We were bound to meet. I believe I was meant to meet and find him. He is my person.

I am so happy. I feel like I have been making the right choices for my true happiness. I believe these paths were begging me to take them, and my heart listened.

I definitely noticed that I am taking my own path through my education, but I am thankful for how everything is playing out and I am working hard now to obtain my degree while getting to work somewhere I don't consider a job because I love making magic for families.

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