Tag Archive | college

oh, the places you’ll go

This past Sunday at 2 p.m. the 2012 OSU Winter Commencement officially started and one of my best friends received her diploma, shook President Gee’s hand and joined me as a proud buckeye alumni.

OSU grads

So weird.

I watched my friends and former classmates graduate and couldn’t help but think of my graduation last spring. While the overall message remained the same, President Gee tried extremely hard to make this speech different than previous graduations. But the core message remained the same – Ohio State gave us the fuel and acted as a launching pad for our future, and now it’s time to fly.

Cheesy cheesy cheesy.

But true. It’s been about eight months since I graduated college, and it was nice to go back and REALLY listen to graduation. I’ll be the first to admit, last June I was waving to my family, smiling for pictures, finding friends in the sea of black gowns, chatting about senior bar craw and figuring out plans for the evening …. I wasn’t exactly paying FULL attention to the speakers (and it was about 90 degrees in the Horseshoe and I was dying for a Diet Coke and a hot-dog). So listening to the message again was beneficial.

Hearing President Gee tell the new graduates that life doesn’t end after college but simply begins a new chapter of life is refreshing, and what I needed to hear. Honestly, I think these next four years are going to be the scariest/best/most developing years of my life. It still feels weird to get out of bed and head downtown to work and not across the Oval to class. It feels weird to have the world at my feet. It feels weird to know that the choices I make during this year could impact the rest of my life.

Moving from cheesy cheesy cheesy to dramatic dramatic dramatic. Wonderful.

But it’s true – how I continue to expand my network and strengthen my skills now do nothing but lay down the path for my future. It’s just slightly scary to have some cool internship and Disney experience, my degree, my big bright personality and passion with me and face the world.

As a college-grad living in today’s world it seems like we have a ton of un-spoken rules to follow. Know social media, mind your manners, make a difference in today’s world, support the right causes and make sure you can handle your iPhone, emails, twitter and Facebook presence all at once (I’m still rocking the dumb phone so one thing I don’t have to worry about – and yes mom, I am the only person without an iPhone.)

So now what? What is the next step in this wonderful path I call my life?

I found a company that I believe in and am ready to mold myself into a professional – and make sure I remember my values and what is important to me. One of my new goals is to read a professional book every month (sort of like a self-help book — stay tuned for my review of my March read during my next blog post!), and the one I am currently reading really focuses on writing down goals. See your goals, strive for your goals, reach your goals…not a bad concept.

Now is the time to really think about my goals…both short and long-term. Thanks for reading!


a chapter ends: packing the magic and moving to Ohio

17 hours. Just shy of 20 hours is what it took for me and my boyfriend to make the drive from Orlando to Ohio. Through Florida, Georgia, Tennessee and Kentucky, I felt like I forgot a small piece of my heart in Florida.

As I look back on my Disney College Experience I can’t begin to count the memories of happiness, laughter, finding new friends who became my family and personal strength I never knew. I learned how to handle difficult guest situations – and I learned that this Disney Princess is a little tougher than she looks.

  • 80 hour work week? check
  • Angry parents and screaming children? check
  • Multi-tasking to the extreme while handling 5,000 guests and their issues with a smile? Check
  • Parking 300 strollers? Check

my goodbye dinner - great looking Disney family

So the time came for me to return to Ohio for another incredible job opportunity (stay tuned about that!) and I packed my clothes and pretty much all my worldly possessions in the my trusty civic, cried while saying goodbyes and began the journey up 75 North.

I can’t really say I look different – perhaps a little tanner and toned due running, but pretty much the same. I can’t say I act different – still singing country tunes in the car (sorry boyfriend) and stopping at Starbucks for an afternoon pick-me-up.

But I  feel different. Not to sound Disney “corny”, but I feel like some of the magic buzzing around Disney World made the trip to Ohio with me.

Go ahead and laugh. Just laugh and get it over with. Tell me that magic doesn’t exists and I am waaayy to old to be pretending that a mouse and a castle have anything to do with magic. Ok…finished?

But … I feel the magic with me. Not the magic the includes pulling bunnies out of hats – but the type of magic the includes families and memories. The magic I experienced in Disney allowed me to see that families come in all different shapes and sizes…and happy people create more happiness. Respect goes a long way and fireworks are a great way to end your day. You can find friends while waiting in line and people love to tell stories about their own journeys. THAT magic.

And now I am in Ohio: ready to move back to Columbus and begin my next adventure. I’m nervous about my this change but can’t wait to share what I learn and see how I grow. It was time for me to close my Disney chapter of my life and look towards the future. One part ended – but another path is right in front of me.

Watch out Columbus – I’m back. I’m ready to rock it out at my new job and put my roots down in good ol’ Buckeye Nation. But want to know something even better? I have a little Disney magic with me.

Disney Princess & Grandmom

As the second full day of living at home after college comes to an end, I am proud to report progress.

Slow, but progress nonetheless. My dad (possibly) accepted the fact I have too many purses and Father’s Day was a complete success. My mom was much happier I stayed in all day with the family, and I think I will able to figure out a balance between family/friends.

college grad meets extended family

However, there is one small hindrance standing in the way of my smooth transition of moving home before moving to Florida – my grandmother.

Now before anyone jumps to conclusions you need to know the entire back-story.

My dad was diagnosed with prostate cancer about a year and a half ago and immediately started treatment. The news rocked the entire foundation of my family, but it really upset my grandmother. Her health started to fail extremely quickly and she slowly stopped eating. When we realized what was happening my parents immediately moved my grandmom into our home. It was such a quick move there was no time to create a guest room or mother-in-law quarters. Long story short?

She moved into my room. I moved to the couch (during holidays, summer and visits).

Don’t get me wrong, my grandmother is my guardian angel and has been a tremendous help to me my entire life, especially in the recent years when I was an undergrad.

But we are having one small problem, my grandmother feels guilty about it all and with her Alzheimer’s  sometimes her actions hurt my family. She offers to sleep on the couch or floor and let me sleep in my bed.

Not. Happening.

I don’t care if I sleep on the couch. I am 21 years old, and in truth, my parents’ couch is cleaner/more comfy than my bed at college.

And that’s what families do, we take care of one another.

So my family is slightly stuck. How do we make my grandmother feel welcome in our house without constantly making her feel guilty?

The entire dynamic of the family changed. My dad is no longer the child, but the caretaker. She is no longer the grandmom who let me have Pepsi at dinner, but my grandmother who needs constant care. My younger sister and I now know what it is like help her up and down the stairs, remind her about taking her medication and cooking her dinner.

It’s not that hard. Worst part of the matter is my grandmother isn’t allowing us to help her. The stress she puts on herself because she is now in my room isn’t good for her health, and that makes my parents frustrated.

College degree – check
Knowing what to do/handle for family matters – still working on that


Grad comes home

Because my arrival date for WDW College Program isn’t till the middle of August I moved back home … and in with my parents. Truthfully, I don’t know how excited I am about my new living situation.

Don’t get me wrong, I have incredible parents. They are very loving and supportive – but they are my parents. I moved into their house, under their roof and with their rules. And we are having a hard time figuring out our new relationship with me back in the house. To them, it is like “high-school” Jessi is moving back home – not the 21-year-old college grad.

Within seven hours of being home my dad already said (lovingly about 50 times) that I have too many clothes, purses, jewelry and “junk”.

Thanks dad.

No many how many times you say it, my clothing and accessories are not going away.

My mom wants to know my summer work schedule and what my plans are for this weekend. I can’t seem to explain to her that I am seeing some old high school friends this weekend, but we don’t have concrete plans. I cannot give her specific times or locations.


It is so hard to switch gears from living on my own without any rules to moving back into my parents’ home. This means respecting curfews, other sleeping schedules and trying to mesh back in my family’s everyday life.

I only need to survive living at home for about 60 days then I move down to the wonderful world of Disney! I can’t wait for our family vacation and to see my parents and sister before I leave for Florida, but why do I have this apprehension?

Stay tuned for posts from a college grad living at home.


Tassel on the right side

“As I reflect on the ceremony, I am struck by the collective power of this group. Though I admit my bias, our students are,
in short, extraordinary. Each student’s story may differ, but all share one theme—a strong desire to do good in the world.” – President Gee reflecting on The Ohio State Class of 2011 and all Ohio State students.

I am officially a college graduate! I finished all my classes, made my parents proud with my grades, crawled with my friends, received my diploma and moved my tassel to the right.

TA-DA! Everything I have worked for these past four years is finished… I graduated!

Wait, so now it’s time for the real world?

I feel that I have all this knowledge and drive, but no map. I want to take everything I have learned from this incredible university and share it with the world.

But now I am packing up my apartment, writing thank you notes, preparing for a short summer job and then off to Disney!

Disney is the chance for me to take hold of my dreams and really reach for the stars. I am prepared to work hard, learn the brand and network as much a possible.

So here I am world – no map, just my ambition.

Besides, worst comes to worst I have my other OSU alum and those who love me around in case I need directions.

Disney Princess grows up

Continuing with my earlier post about wanting to work at Disney, I thought I would discuss my “college stress” this post. To me, it feels like every day I learn something I could be doing better – either networking, polishing my résumé or updating my portfolio. To quote Sarah, or TheNakedRedHead,”the world just seems noisy.” Which it is…I understand that…but does it ever stop? I almost feel like as a soon-to-be-graduate I am already falling behind and not able to keep up.

And don’t get me wrong, this isn’t a whiny post at all, just a senior’s ramblings about a hectic schedule. I feel that I could always be reading another blog or article, posting a thought-provoking tweet or networking with another great professional; but there simply aren’t enough hours in the day. With classes and clubs, not to mention simply having a social life, I am constantly making a to-do list and sloooowwwllly crossing things off.

However, after a wonderful talk with Sarah, I realized things can go on the back-burner. I am not going to die if I don’t tweet for five hours, and some blogs can be read once a week, maybe even one every two weeks. Priorities need to be assembled and it’s OK to wonder if you are going about things the right way.

So I made a list. That’s right, I sat down and I organized my noisy brain. After enjoying the last weeks of my life as a college student at OSU and making sure I finish my quarter strong (thanks OvalBeach for that distraction), Disney feel into third place. Behind Twitter and reading blogs everyday, just the word Disney.

That’s my life lesson of the week — working for Disney isn’t a maybe dream, IT’S MY DREAM. So that’s the new focus of this, now more mature, Disney Princess. I want to strengthening a connection with someone at Disney and work on my PR skills while I wait for August and the big move to Florida. If I have free time, that’s when I click to a blog and read…no pressure, no noise.

Best advice from Sarah while we sat outside and enjoyed Starbucks on a warm Saturday morning? Thank God for the delete key 🙂