Continuing the theme of graduation advice, I’ve got another post this week. In all fairness, you should know that this post is primarily for my own Princess who is graduating in a few days. You may want to skip the last paragraph.
Disney Princesses are a mixed bag of characters. Some deeply reflect outdated notions of gender roles. Some barely register as a driving character in their own movie. Some are extraordinary. All have characteristics that we can admire and can use to navigate our way through life. As you graduate and head out into the great wide world, here are some lessons from the Disney Princesses.
Be like Snow White.
No matter what you have to do, make it fun. You don’t have to whistle while you work, but make an effort to find the joy in the most mundane of life’s activities. If you can manage to do that, life will be more enjoyable. We all get stuck doing things we don’t want to sometimes. Find a way to see the positive and you will be surprised at how that transforms your world.
Be like Cinderella.
Be kind. Even when it is easier not to be. When you choose kindness you make yourself a stronger person. Kindness doesn’t mean you stay in a bad situation when you have a chance to leave. Your put on your glass slippers and run out of there. Kindness means you never sink to the level of casual cruelty no matter what.
Be like Aurora.
Trust in your dreams. They might feel unrealistic, too hard, or just plain crazy but that doesn’t mean you should give up. Adapt, change, and maybe take a nap but keep following your dreams.
Be like Ariel.
Be brave enough to look outside the world you know. You never know what you might find when you step outside the things you have always experienced. It might be scary. It might be wonderful. It will probably be a mixture of both. You will never know if you don’t see it for yourself.
Be like Belle.
Don’t be afraid to look beneath the surface to see what is really there. People will surprise you, sometimes for the worse but often for the best. Everyone is more than they appear to the outside world. It is worth your time and effort to find out what’s on the inside. As an added bonus, don’t forget to take time to enjoy a good book!
Be like Jasmine.
Don’t accept something just because that’s the way it has always been done. There will be plenty of people who will want to tell you what you can and should do. Listen to them and their reasons, but make your own decision based on what you know is right for you. Be bold in your choices even when no one has made that choice before.
Be like Pocahontas.
Champion diversity. We live in a society that tells us different is scary, bad, or awful. Don’t forget that you know better. Our world needs diversity in order to thrive and so do we. Life is better when we see all the colors. Use your voice to call out discrimination and hatred whenever you see it. Speak for those who are not present and call for their inclusion at all levels.
Be like Mulan.
Fight for the right to be the person you really are inside. You have gifts and experience that no one else has. Your perspective is of value don’t let anyone put you in a box. Just because you might fail trying to fulfill a role that someone else assigns you, it doesn’t mean you are a failure. You can succeed in ways that no one could have expected.
Be like Tiana.
Have a goal. Work toward it. Don’t give up. Life is not easy. Don’t expect it to be. It is a rare thing that you will get something without having to work for it first. Make a plan, adapt the plan when necessary, but keep working toward your future.
Be like Rapunzel.
See the world with wonder. Enjoy every day like it’s the best day ever. Jump in with both feet. Experience life to its fullest. We all have a limited number of days. don’t get so focused on goals, work, and plans that you forget to have fun. Plus, don’t forget your frying pan
Be like Merida.
Be brave enough to change your fate. It is hard to step out and do something different from what was always expected, not just of you but by you. Sometimes life changes and you will have to change with it. Don’t be afraid when that happens. Embrace the change and allow yourself to look in a new direction.
Be like Elsa.
Let go of the things that hold you back and keep you from being the person you are meant to be. things will not always be easy, but hold on to the strength you need tune out the negative. Pain, failure, and heartache can hold you back if you let it. Move on. Look toward the future, not to the past. Look to your strengths, not to your weaknesses.
Be like Anna.
Love enthusiastically even if things don’t turn out the way you want them to. At some point someone will break your heart. It will hurt. You will feel like you never want to go through that again. Those feelings will pass if you let them. Don’t allow the experience of being hurt to shape how you love.
Be like Moana.
Know who you are. Listen to the voice inside. Embrace where you came from, but find your own path. You will do things that no one ever dreamed you could. You will head into the world leaving what you know behind, but you will be supported and surrounded by all the people who have gotten you to this point even if you cannot see them.
Be like You.
People ask me who my favorite Disney princess is. The answer, of course, is ‘the one I raised’.
You are everything you need to be in order to succeed in this world. Embrace it. Allow your strength to carry you through the tough times. Allow your kindness to shine like a beacon to those around you. Allow your joy to transform this world.
Dream Big, Princess and know that no matter where you go or what you do my love goes with you.