It seems like everyone is stressed right now, be it about academics, the holidays, both, or neither. Sometimes when you’re stressed that becomes all your mind will let you hone in on. Your stress becomes a little gnome clawing at the back of your eyeballs, always present but physically impossible to truly deal with.
But that’s why I’ve come blasting through the Internet on the back of a stress-gnome-eating pegasus to remind you that there is more to life than alternating between bouts of crying and checking ELMS. But since showing is better than telling, I’m going to show you just that- through Disney characters. (Really, what better way is there to make a point than through Disney characters?)
- Tiana: Tiana was a young woman working two jobs to achieve her dream in the 1920s, a time period that wasn’t the most accommodating for people like her. At times Tiana was seriously on the verge of losing everything she had ever worked for and almost turned to nefarious means to achieve her goals. But by working hard till the end, Tiana got the prince and the restaurant. I can’t promise you’ll be able to marry a prince, but your hard work will pay off too.
- Rapunzel: Sure it sucks that your Powerpoint crashed, losing 5 hours of hard, unsaved work. But do you know what else sucks? Being kidnapped as an infant by a narcissistic old woman who will lock you away for 18 years of your life to harness your magical powers for her own gain. Now THAT sucks. But just as Rapunzel got to finally see the lights on her 18th birthday, you too will see the light at the end of this hellish tunnel known as finals week.
- Nemo: Nemo’s problems began even before he was born when an evil barracuda devoured his mom, all of his siblings, and our hearts in one of the most heartbreaking Disney opening scenes to date. On top of living with the physical trauma from this event, Nemo had to deal with an overprotective father, his own social awkwardness, and the fact that he was kidnapped and taken thousands of miles away from home at an age where he should still be learning his ABCs. Suddenly your 8 page paper doesn’t seem so bad, does it?
- Nani: Lilo may have been the main character of “Lilo & Stitch,” but her big sister Nani was the true star of the movie. Nani had to take on full guardianship of her young sister at the tender age of 19. I’m 19 right now, and I can assure you that I shouldn’t even be given custody of a hermit crab much less a full human being. But Nani rose to the occasion gracefully and did her best to take care of herself and her sister in the face of gun-happy aliens and scary social workers. If that’s not inspirational, then I don’t know the meaning of the word.
- Kala: Tarzan’s mother is only a supporting character, but she’s a very important one. She managed to push past the recent loss of her own child to extend care and nurture to a baby that wasn’t even the same species she was. Your heart will be heavy as you get ready for that big presentation, but you will find a way to persevere.
- Sarabi: Sarabi isn’t the most well-known character on the list, but the mother of Simba and former Queen of the Pridelands certainly deserves a spot. Sarabi had to keep the entire nation running after her husband’s death, her son’s mysterious disappearance, and her brother-in-law’s violent conquest for power. She did all this with her head held high, proving that you can still get work done and look super regal while doing it. Remember that when you are about to wear the same pair of sweatpants for the 4th day in a row.
- Lewis Robinson: The moral of this underrated Disney gem can be described in three simple words: keep moving forward. Failure is a part of life. You are going to fail at some point sooner or later, and its going to suck when it happens. It took Lewis literally decades to perfect his inventions, after all. But no matter how many failures come your way, keep moving forward. That’s all anyone can really do.
Best of luck with finals, everyone.
Rosie Brown is a sophomore prospective journalism major and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.