A couple weeks ago I was preparing to move my first born daughter into a dorm room a couple of hours away. The very thing I was so proud of her for — getting accepted to the college of her dreams and receiving a full scholarship — I was now questioning. Why did I want this for her? How was she going to be on her own when she learned to walk just a couple of years ago? Why did I encourage her to work so hard and use her talents, knowing it would lead to this?
As we packed and prepared, I thought about the things that had bonded us the most over the years and I wanted to make something that would go with her to college and inspire her, but also ground her and help her remember her foundation. Since she was tiny, we have both loved all things Disney. We love the movies, the soundtracks, and the parks. So I pulled quotes from our favorite Disney characters and used them to bridge her foundation and her future. I put them on sticky notes and carefully arranged them on a full-length mirror for her dorm room so that every time she looks in the mirror, she will be inspired and remember who loves her the most, knowing that we are always here for her.
Not just crocodile tears, but the deep sobs that pound in your chest, hurt your head, and leave you with the “snubs.” When I was finished, I felt cleansed, stronger, and ready to face our next chapter. I still cried when we left her dorm, but it was surprisingly short-lived and I was fine the next day. I still miss her, of course, but this little exercise was just what I needed to get through one of the most difficult transitions in motherhood. It helped me say all the things I wanted to say to her, but probably could not have without crying. My daughter has been so ready to soar; pulling away and growing more independent over this last year. When we got to the dorm, she promptly pulled some of the sticky notes off the mirror and hung them on the wall above her bed. She said she plans to rotate them throughout the year until she has studied and learned them all. There’s nothing she can’t do, and she has Disney and her mama supporting her the whole way!
Here’s a countdown to my top 42 favorite Disney quotes for the college kid:
- “To Infinity and Beyond!” ~ Buzz Lightyear, Toy Story
This is how much I love you and I always will.
- “This human world…it’s a mess.” ~ Sebastian, The Little Mermaid
Don’t let the mess influence you too much- be better and do better.
- “And thank you!” ~ Maui, Moana
Always remember your manners and to always be kind.
- “How lucky am I to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard. “ ~ Winnie the Pooh
You are missed every day.
- “O’hana means family and family means nobody gets left behind or forgotten.” ~ Lilo, Lilo & Stitch
We are always here for you.
- “You just need to believe in yourself.” ~ Rex, Toy Story
I believe in you.
- “Love is putting someone else’s needs before yours.” ~ Olaf, Frozen
Always help others and put other’s needs before your own.
- “There is more treasure in books than in all the pirate’s loot on Treasure Island.” ~ Walt Disney
Find time to read a good book.
- “If you can dream it, you can do it.” ~ Walt Disney
Look how far your dreams have already gotten you.
- “When you believe in a thing, believe in it all the way, implicitly and unquestionable.” ~ Walt Disney
I believe you are going to do great things.
- “Adventure is out there!” ~ Ellie, Up
Don’t be afraid to take chances.
- “You are braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.” ~ Christopher Robin, Winnie the Pooh
You’ve got this.
- “Hakuna Matata. It means no worries.” ~ Timon and Pumba, The Lion King
Worrying robs us of our joy and doesn’t change a thing, so don’t worry.
- “Just think happy thoughts and you’ll fly!” ~ Peter Pan
Positivity goes a long way and it is contagious.
- “The past can hurt, but the way I see it, you can either run from it or learn from it.” ~ Rafiki
Don’t let anything keep you from moving forward.
- “Venture outside your comfort zone, the rewards are worth it.” ~ Rapunzel
When we are out of our comfort zone, that is when we grow.
- “Remember, you’re the one who can fill the world with sunshine.” ~ Snow White
You are my sunshine.
- “Our fate lives within us; you only have to be brave enough to see it.” ~ Merida, Brave
You are brave.
- “You’ve got a friend in me.” ~ Woody, Toy Story
You can come to me with anything, always.
- “Why worry? If you’ve done the very best you can, then worrying won’t make it any better.” ~ Walt Disney
Work hard and do your very best always, and then rest and know you’ve done all you could.
- “Good friends will help you until you’re unstuck.” ~ Pooh, Winnie the Pooh
Surround yourself with good friends.
- “You’re mad. Bonkers. Off your head…but I’ll tell you a secret…some of the best people are.” ~ Alice, Alice in Wonderland
Stay your quirky self and don’t ever worry about what others think.
- “No matter how your heart is grieving, if you keep on believing, the dream that you wish will come true.” ~ Cinderella
Don’t be afraid to dream BIG.
- “How do you spell love? You don’t spell love, you feel it.” ~ Piglet and Pooh, Winnie the Pooh
Love is a verb — you love with your kindness.
- “I’d rather die tomorrow than live a hundred years without knowing you.” ~ John Smith, Pocahontas
You made me “mama” and for that I am forever grateful.
- “My dream wouldn’t be complete without you in it.” ~ Tiana, The Princess and The Frog
My plans were to always be a mama, and you made me a mama and you made it an easy job.
- “Some people are worth melting for.” ~ Olaf, Frozen
Surround yourself with people like this.
- “Did you ever stop to think and forget to start again?”~ Pooh, Winnie the Pooh
Don’t let distractions and procrastination keep you from finishing.
- “The more you like yourself, the less you are like anyone else, which makes you unique.” ~ Walt Disney
Keep being uniquely you, I love you just the way you are.
- “Just keep swimming!” ~ Dory, Finding Nemo
Do not quit, you’ve got this.
- “To laugh at yourself is to love yourself.” ~ Mickey Mouse
Don’t forget to find the humor in yourself.
- “It is not what’s outside, but what is inside that counts.” ~ Aladdin
You are kind and brave and fun.
- “All you need is a little faith, trust, and pixie dust.” ~ Peter Pan
Put your faith and trust in the Lord.
- “Even miracles take a little time.” ~ Fairy Godmother, Cinderella
You are one of my favorite miracles.
- “Change is good.” ~ Rafiki, The Lion King
The one constant in life is change; embrace it and let it mold you.
- “Don’t just fly, soar.” ~ Dumbo
Always do your very best.
- “Believe in yourself.” ~ Mufasa, The Lion King
Your talent got you here, your hard work will get you anywhere.
- “Growing up is for rookies.” ~ Philoctetes, Hercules
Keep trying, you’ll get it.
- “The only way to get what you want in this world is through hard work.” ~ Tiana, The Princess and The Frog
If you want it, work for it.
- “If you’re scared, just be scarier than whatever is scaring you!” ~ Thumper, Bambi
It’s OK to be a little scared; just don’t let that keep you from going after your dreams.
- “The very things that hold you down are going to lift you up.” ~ Timothy Mouse, Dumbo
You will have choices to make and you sometimes might choose wrong. Just get back up and try again.
- “A true hero isn’t measured by the size of his strength, but by the strength of his heart.” ~ Herecules
You make my heart burst with pride. You are so much more than I could have ever wanted you to be. You are amazing and I thank God for you daily.