As a 20-year old college student, I am not ashamed in the slightest to admit that Disney marathons are a regular occurrence in my apartment. Anytime I’m having a bad day or I need a break from studying or I just need some time to relax, Disney movies are always the answer. They have helped me through homesickness, finals week stress, roommate disputes, and so much more. It really is amazing to think about how many lessons from these films can be applied to college life.
- “Sometimes the right path is not the easiest one.” – Grandmother Willow
This is something that I think every college student has trouble coming to terms with. I know for a fact that it’s something that I have struggled with. College is a time that defines what the rest of your life is going to be and choosing a career path is one of the scariest, most difficult, most important things you will ever do and sometimes, the career that you want equals a difficult journey. Sometimes, it equals extra school beyond the typical 4 years. Sometimes, the job prospects in your field are going to look bleak. You just have to remember that being on the other side of that journey is going to be so much sweeter because you chose to persevere and work hard instead of taking the easy way out.
- “Just keep swimming.” – Dory
This is one of those things that I chant to myself when I’m smack in the middle of finals week. College is a time of insecurity and doubt and terrible stress. Sometimes, those things will just about swallow you whole. Whenever you start to feel like that, take the advice from our very wise friend, Dory, and KEEP GOING. There is a light at the end of every tunnel and you WILL get there, but only if you don’t give up.
- “Let’s get down to business to defeat the huns!” – Li Shang
In the case of college students, the huns are 20 page research papers or mid-term exams or 70 pages of reading for that one class that you hate. You will have to use every weapon in your arsenal to obliterate these enemies. Ambition, tenacity, and good time management skills are these weapons. Hone in on them and learn to use them to your full advantage.
- “I am on my way, I can go the distance!” – Hercules
Believing that you can do what you set your mind to is the best motivator out there. If you tell yourself that you will pass that class that you’ve been struggling with, it will push you to do the work necessary to pass. Having others believe in you is a nice confidence boost, but truly believing in yourself makes you unstoppable.
- “Ohana means family. Family means nobody gets left behind or forgotten.” – Lilo & Stitch
Homesickness is something that I struggle with on a daily basis. While I love the school that I attend and while I have a wonderful group of friends, being 3 hours away from my family certainly takes it’s toll. This quote (and this movie in general) is something that gets me through the days that are especially hard. For my fellow home bodies out there, you have to keep in mind that no matter where life takes you, your family will always be with you, even if not physically.
- “I want adventure in the great wide somewhere. I want it more than I can tell. And for once it might be grand to have someone understand, I want so much more than they’ve got planned.” – Belle
You should never feel obligated to give up your dream for someone else’s. You are the one that is going to have to live with every decision that you make and your happiness is all that matters. If your dream is to become a professional musician, get your music degree. Take 5 years in undergrad. Get a Master’s degree. Study abroad. Make yourself happy FIRST. Stop thinking about what your family or your friends or your significant other thinks.
- “Always let your conscience be your guide.” – Jiminy Cricket
In college, you may find yourself in situations with people that just feel off. You may not be able to put your finger on it but if you get that creepy feeling in your gut, get yourself out. There is no justification or explanation needed. If you feel unsafe, that’s the only reason you need to leave. Listen to your conscience because it will never lead you astray.
- Remember, you’re the one who can fill the world with sunshine.” – Snow White
College is where a lot of people form the views and morals that will shape who they are as people and their impact on the world. When you are forming these morals, always remember that the best thing you can do in your life is to treat people with the love and respect that you would want to be treated with. Leave nothing but love and light in your wake and you have led a successful life.
- The only way to get what you want in this world is through hard work.” – Tiana
I think this one is pretty self explanatory. Don’t forget why you’re at school. You’re there to build the foundation of a good career and that is going to require a lot of hard work. Study hard, go to class, stay on top of your work and you will be rewarded in the end!
- “In bad times and in good, I’ve never lost my sense of zest for life..” – Walt Disney
I thought it was only fitting to end with a life lesson from the man who started it all. When you’re in college, never forget that these are supposed to be the best years of your life. Of course you need to focus on your studies and do well academically, but never forget to live. Never let the stress of school overtake your life. Make time for your friends and make time for new experiences. Pick up a new hobby or try a new food. Be curious. Take advantage of this special time and enjoy every second of it.
If you take nothing else away from this article, take away the knowledge that sometimes all you need to feel better is a Disney movie. Life is sometimes just that simple. Find your go to Disney film and cherish it because it will always be there to help you through any stress that life throws at you. And now, to my fellow college kids, a word of advice: Never think that you are somehow too old for a Disney movie. As you can see, they contain great wisdom that will always stay with you. I know that it will always stay with me.
Has Disney helped you survive college or other life experiences? Do you have a favorite movie quote you use to stay focused? Share with us in the comments below!