We’ve been running our Facebook page for almost three years now and we’ve seen a lot.  Most often, we see so much enthusiasm on the part of parents and their offspring that it’s awesome to watch.

Sometimes, however, we hear from those on the flip side.  Those CPs who, prior to entering the program, not only practically shook in their shoes about the huge change this would bring to their lives but all too silently wondered – and anxiously worried – if they were made of the right stuff to be a CP.

One of our parents wrote:  “Hi, I have enjoyed reading this group very much and, although I have not posted much, the information has been appreciated.  Our daughter’s program ended Thursday and we are here picking her up and enjoying a little time at the parks as well.  I wanted to share with the group what she posted on Facebook last night.  I know I got a little weak-eyed reading it and thought it might be helpful to others out there. “

We thought her experience and advice are worthy of being read by many, especially future aspiring CPs.  Thank you, Christa Pellowe.  Your words will mean so much to so many.  “You’re braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.”

by Laura Schwartz

My Disney internship just ended and I have so much to say about it.  Those who know me know I’m not the most confident person in the world.   Back in high school I was EXTREMELY shy and, to be brutally honest, didn’t like myself much, if at all.  I’ve struggled with painful shyness and anxiety my whole life and only recently have I started to open up to people I didn’t know very well.

When I was accepted into this program, I was given a mere 3 days to decide where to accept or decline this opportunity.  I would be lying if I said I didn’t think about turning it down every minute of those three long days.

But I am so unbelievably and truly thankful that I decided to give it a try.

My first day in the program, I learned that instead of having one roommate, I would have five, four of whom I knew nothing about and had never ever spoken to.  I thought, “That’s it, program over,” because how could I, this shy, awkward weirdo, POSSIBLY survive living with people I don’t know in a place that’s so foreign to my northern home?

Lo and behold, it was actually….EASY?

This program has certainly been a journey, with ups and downs but, undoubtedly, this program has changed my perspective on myself.  I don’t just feel better, I AM better.  I had some of the best times of my life and I met some absolutely amazing people who changed my life.  To be fair, what made it easy was working with the best people and living with the greatest roommates ever.

Long story short – I learned a lot about myself, made many friends and realized my own personal self-worth.

To be honest, I’m sharing my story because I know that there a lot of people who feel the exact same way I chronically felt throughout my life – scared, weak, weird, broken and, overall, somehow less than everyone around me.  I have a message to the ‘me’ I was six months ago and to anyone who has ever experienced similar feelings of self-hatred:

You are SO much stronger than you think.  You can accomplish things that you literally never even dared to dream you could.  People enjoy your company just as much as you enjoy theirs (I know, I know, that’s a crazy thought, right?).

You need to give yourself a break and stop worrying and driving yourself crazy over things you can’t change.  Things are so much better than you think; you just have to let yourself breathe for once.  I know, life is crazy and the unknown is terrifying.  I know you feel like you can’t do it.  But I absolutely, fully, 100% in my heart and soul, believe in you.

Make your own path.  You don’t have to do what I did (maybe this program isn’t for everyone), but find something that makes you feel the way this program made me feel.  I promise you that something is out there and you will find exactly where your heart is meant to be, the place where you feel you belong.

And until you can find a way to believe in yourself, just know that I believe in you.

I encourage every single person who reads this to dare to dream, and dare to dream BIG.

Because in the words of Walt Disney, “If you can dream it, you can do it.”

by Christa Pellowe

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