Neverland Dreams: Childhood and Change – Chloe Page

When was the last time that you listened to a Disney song? I mentioned in my last article that I listened to various Disney tracks on the way to University for the first time. This got me thinking: why did I do that? Why do people revert to childhood relics in times of change? I know that there are other childhood things such as toys and movies that people use, but for the sake of this article I will focus on Disney music.

So why did I listen to a Disney playlist on that day? Well, that period in my life was a time of great change and uncertainty. It was filled with so many questions and fears; ‘did I make the right choice?’, ‘what if this goes wrong?’ and ‘what if I don’t make any friends?’ were amongst the most prevalent ones in my mind. I needed comfort and reassurance that I had made the correct decision, hence why I listened to ‘Go the Distance’ from Hercules, which starts out vulnerable and unsure, but builds into confident determination, something that I needed. I also wanted confidence to meet new people and to feel sure of myself, which is where ‘Zero to Hero’ came in to add some fun and zest into my mood. To remind myself why I chose Creative Writing in particular I chose ‘Strangers Like Me’ from Tarzan; I had wanted to learn about writing and find others who shared my passion, I couldn’t lose sight of my purpose. The playlist worked, of course, since I didn’t cry or have a panic attack (on the first day, at least) and here I am now, a soon-to-be graduate of said Creative Writing degree. However, I don’t just listen to Disney music when I’m afraid.

Back in the second semester of first year I hosted a Disney themed party. I had it all planned out; the food, the music, the drinks. Everything was perfect. Everybody dressed up and we drank while caterwauling to our favourite Disney tunes. I have also gone to various Disney themed Student Union nights and participated in karaoke and dancing to terribly remixed versions of my childhood favourites. Before you ask: yes, of course I dressed up. In my time at university alone I have dressed up as Megara, Peter Pan, Belle and Anastasia (before you fight me on this, Disney bought the rights to 20th Century Fox’s animated version of ‘Anastasia’ so technically she is a Disney princess now). Why, you ask? On first instinct, I would say for fun. Who doesn’t love cosplaying as their favourite character and singing terribly with their friends? However, on deeper inspection, we once again come to one answer: comfort. During a time where you’re up to your eyeballs in deadlines and have been working at a part time job whilst also trying to stay alive, sometimes indulging in some nostalgia helps to reassure you that yes, life is tough now, but things are going to get better because that’s what Disney taught us to believe. If everything worked out for Mulan, surely it will all work out for you in the end, too. Right? Right?

Also hosting or attending parties like the one mentioned above are like a celebration. Singing along to these tunes with your friends brings such joy and happiness as you remember all of the times that you watched the movies with family when you were a child. Knowing that your friends also love ‘Hakuna Matata’ and will happily do a drunken (or sober) duet with you just solidifies your friendship. We celebrate these memories and bonds through this mutual love of one thing and it honestly reminds me of all the joys of being alive. Yes, that sounds cliché, but it’s true for me. I may have sounded terrible that time I tried to sing ‘Love is an Open Door’ with my boyfriend at one in the morning at the pub

What I’m trying to say is that whatever it is that you turn to when you are afraid or unsure is perfectly fine and nothing to be ashamed of. If it helps, then it helps. You’re probably not alone in doing it. Now go grab some friends and wow everyone with your amazing lyrical prowess!

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