Dear me at 18,
The first thing I have to say is that I know you’re unhappy with the choices you made last year. You chose to go to college close to home for all the wrong reasons, and on top of that you let E back into your life and – no big surprise – he broke your heart again. Right now you’re feeling pretty miserable, but you have a slough of decisions to make coming your way and I’m here to tell you that many of them will be the right ones.
For instance, you’ve been agonizing over applying to the Walt Disney World College Program, and you will do that. The only thing I ask you to change is your start date. Don’t wait for the fall program, no matter how scared you are – apply for fall advantage and start in May. There is absolutely no reason to stay in Connecticut all summer, trust me. You have fun but nothing truly amazing happens; the amazing things happen when you get to Disney. Everything changes, but I think if I gave you “advice” on that it would do more harm than help.
If you wait until August to start your internship, working for Disney will be difficult. You’ll be unsure of the friendships you’ve made. There will be a boy and you will fall for him and years down the road he will break your heart over and over again. You won’t be careful enough; you’ll almost get fired for partying, you’ll have to be practically carried back to your apartment at least once, and you’ll have the absolute worst night of your life on December 30th.
The thing is, I can’t promise that any or all of these things won’t happen if you decide to go in May rather than August. But I will promise that you will realize, sooner rather than later, what you’ve always known deep down – that Disney is your dream. Working there will change your life and you will go back over and over and over again, as an employee and a guest. So don’t put it off – not even to help B out with his musical, or to go C’s prom with him, or in hopes that K will move to Florida with you like she promised.
Nike has been telling us to “Just Do It” since 1988, so trust me when I say that in this case that slogan applies.
Tara is an avid blogger who writes her life stories at A Serendipitous Life, and even though her 18 year old self started her internship with Disney in August rather than May, it was an amazing experience that shaped the person she is today and Tara ended up working at Walt Disney World for five years. She has now found her true home in South Carolina and her true love in a high school acquaintance and has at least a dozen letters she would love to write to her teenage self.