Sometimes, we just wish for the past. There doesn’t have to be anything wrong with our present, but something in us longs for an era gone by. That’s the nostalgia kicking in.
My week started off with a midterm on Monday and has been followed by a packed schedule of interning, tutoring students, and juggling my extracurriculars with my academics. It’s one of those weeks where there’s nothing really bad happening, but it still feels overwhelming. To add to matters, I’ve been starting to feel stir-crazy at school, just wanting to get out of Washington, D.C. for a little while and breathe. What is this all the perfect recipe for? A lot of nostalgia for my Disney College Program.
My time at Disney wasn’t perfect and yet, there is nothing more that I yearn for at this moment. I’m craving the winter days spent at water parks, the days spent laying on the Hub grass with a view of Cinderella Castle, and the unexpected perfectness of random days spent eating all the food Epcot had to offer. It’s been six months since my program ended and as I’ve finally gotten used to school again, my time in Disney feels like nothing more than a fantasy I created. It’s become my perfect dream.
As I think about my time at Disney and this craving I have right now to go back, I wonder: is it the place I wish for or is it the people? I have not seen many of my friends for six months now, with no end date to this separation in sight. As I think of the days I am looking at nostalgically, I realize it’s the people who make the stories so beautiful.
It’s ranting with Kelsey over noodles and ice cream. It’s car rides home, singing Taylor Swift, with Julie. It’s the long talks at 2 AM with Destiny. It’s gossiping with Sadia. It’s the smiles (and groans) that were shared with Jordan as we passed each other during a work day. It’s the photoshoots with Jenn. It’s the laughter in the kitchen with Beth Anne. It’s the adventures with Kelly. It’s the random late nights with my coworkers who became my best friends.
I could go on for years, listing the name of each person who made my time at Disney so special. I realize now that it’s not the Magic Kingdom nor the rollercoasters, not even Mickey or Minnie that I’m so badly craving and am nostalgic for. It’s my people.
When it comes to feeling nostalgic, I think it’s important not to push those feelings away. You long for a time for a reason: find that real reason, not just the surface one. However, don’t dwell on your longing. You cannot live in the past and if you do, you miss out on the present.
I am grateful for my college program and I am so grateful for the people it brought into my life. However, I will not dwell on my longing to be back in a day gone by. Rather, I will think of my friends and know that as Mickey always says, I’ll see ya real soon.