“Put your faith in what you most believe in.” – Tarzan
Wow, just like that, I’ve lived in Florida for a week. I’m all moved in to my new apartment, have gotten situated with everything around me and am embracing the culture as well as the central Florida weather.
I’ll start off, like you do anything else, from the beginning. Move in day was exciting! Woke up earlier than expected and didn’t get much sleep due to being so excited and after a shower, the butterflies started to kick in. Shortly after, I went to my apartment complex and the moment I got through security (yes, I live in a gated community. *Cues Drake) it was game time.
The check in process went very, very smoothly. I went in, took a picture for my housing ID, checked in with someone, got my room and building number and I was off. Ironically, they put me in building six and if you know anything about me from college, you know the meaning of that number. I was the second of six people to move in that day and got to choose the room furthest from the door.
After getting everything up from the car and into the room, my other roommates began slowly coming in. It was exciting to meet everyone as they came in and come to find out, one of them use to live in Naperville. Small world, isn’t it? After that I went to casting. In casting, I took pictures for my blue ID that I will need for everything across the parks and work as well as had to get finger-printed for background checks. The guy who did that for me, ironically, grew up in the Joliet area. Another town just behind me. Again, the whole small world thing was really coming out and it was only day one.
Once casting was done and after a trip to the store and coming back and unpacking everything, I was officially moved in. I spent the last night with my parents in the resort because it was their last night with me. My last night with them couldn’t have been spent anyway better. We went and got carryout and ended the night talking and watching sports. Although I know they’ll miss me and I will miss them dearly, we all know the opportunity that lies ahead.
Then to the next day and beyond. Tuesday was a little rough. After getting deep-dish pizza for lunch, I said see you later to my parents as they went to the airport. From there, it was my time to shine and quickly began learning about my roommates. All of them are great and am really lucky to be spending the next seven months with a great group of guys. Especially after hearing of other people’s roommate experiences, I couldn’t be more content.
As the days went on, on Friday, I had what Disney calls “Traditions.” To save reading time, it’s basically a orientation class that lasts four-four and a half hours that all members of the program have to take. The highlights of it were getting our blue IDs, which gets me into the parks for free whenever I want, getting to go into the Magic Kingdom while technically being on the clock and getting to see Mickey as he came in and gave the group these:
When I was given my name-tag, it was such a surreal moment. All of the 90 of us in the room put ours on at the same time and I couldn’t have been more proud and happy. It honestly, and don’t mean to sound corny here, was a dream come true. With this name tag, I represent myself, my family, my school, fraternity and all of the friends and family that have supported me along this journey.
Moving forward, yesterday I completed my orientation training as well as my intro into food and beverage. I don’t really work until Saturday where I will get my costume and schedule for the week to come at my new position. For those who may not know, I will be working in Hollywood Studios on Sunset Boulevard in multiple different snack and lunch locations. I have already begun doing research on each of the places I can potentially work on any given day and am in the process of learning all the different menus.
All in all, I am extremely excited to get to work at my location and am loving life in Florida thus far. In the few days that I have had access to the parks, I’ve been to all of them at least once. I have a note in my phone to tally up every time I go to each theme and water park while on my program. Interested to see which park I will go to the most (not counting the times I go to work at Hollywood Studios for work).
To cap off this post, I’ll share my highlight of the week: on Thursday night, after a welcome event, I went to the lovely pool I have at my complex (which is pictured above) and got to hang and meet people while relaxing in a very warm pool. In doing so, there was a group that was throwing a football around and a kid who had an accent came in and got in on the action. He first threw it and saw from how I was throwing it and asked “how do you make it go straight and not wobbly?” I proceeded to get the ball back, showed him how he should hold it and throw it and after that, he threw a perfect spiral. As I mentioned, he had an accent, but really couldn’t make it out at the time so I asked where he was from, he responded with saying he was from Norway and that it was the first time he had ever touched and American football. He then proceeded by introducing himself and stuck his hand out to shake my hand. His name was Sebastian and lived in the building down the way from me. Easy to say, this was my HOTW and was happy I could show him how to throw a football. That’s what life’s about, having new experiences and I can’t wait to make those throughout my program.