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OPINION: Growing up doesn’t mean letting go of childhood joys

The leadup to a big vacation gives me mixed emotions – most notably impatience and excitement. Emphasis on the impatience.

One of the worst feelings, in my opinion, is the anticipation to a vacation months away.

My family plans a vacation to Disney World almost every year. This year, I will be 21 when we go in December. And I’m just as excited as I was when I was 10 years old as I am now.

Disney World takes a lot of planning. It’s not a last-minute vacation. So we’ve been planning everything since January.

Which leaves an awful lot of time to anticipate actually going.

The other day, walking back from the caf, I heard a couple of girls behind me talking about the annual marathon at Disney World. I don’t know if they plan on going, but if they do, we would be in Disney around the same time.

Disney World often gets slapped with the label “for kids.” Yes, Disney is a family theme park. But I’ve grown up with Disney – it’s not only been a part of my development, but it’s been a part of my mom’s development, her family’s development. I can’t count how many times we’ve exchanged Disney Vacation Club points with various members of my mom’s family.

So, yes, even though I can’t quite fit onto all of the rides anymore, Disney means more than just a source of entertainment. I’m 21 and still more excited than I can put into words about going to the home of Mickey Mouse himself.

There’s no age limit for enjoying Disney, The concept of being “too old” disappears as soon as you enter the park. Anyone can stand in line to meet Peter Pan or Cinderella, and no one will bat an eyelash.

In fact, I think one of my most enjoyable Disney trips was my most recent one. I was 19 years old, – legally considered an adult. I also found myself dragged into a public circle of dance with several cast members and a very nice bear named Liver Lips McGrowl. I also danced with Mr. Incredible.

A lot of dancing takes place in Disney World.

Basically, the point I’m trying to make is it’s not some sort of taboo to enjoy stereotypically childish things. If the popularity of Pokemon Go doesn’t serve as proof, I don’t know what does. Just because someone is in college doesn’t mean he or she can’t have fun or be goofy.

College is about becoming someone you are proud to be. Introverted, extroverted, serious or silly – just have confidence in yourself and enjoy life.

After all, life is too short to be embarrassed about dancing with a bear. Live in the moment and enjoy it.

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