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Listen to Tiana and make your dreams come true!

     I apologize in advance to those of you who are die hard fans of Disney’s classic princesses such as Cinderella and Aurora, but this article is going to highlight a more modern Disney princess who I believe is the best role model for college students. Disney’s “The Princess and the Frog” gives us the first African-American Princess, Tiana. Her story takes place in New Orleans during the 1920s making Tiana the most modern Disney Princess on record.
Although many of the Disney Princesses share similar values with one another, Tiana embodies a particularly important quality that all college students should learn to mimic: a strong work ethic. The opening scene of “The Princess and the Frog” shows Tiana going from one job to another with practically no down time in between her shifts proving that Tiana has a work ethic like none other.

     In comparison, we have another well-loved Disney Princess, Ariel, from “The Little Mermaid.” Ariel is essentially a bratty/whiny daddy’s girl who has never worked a day in her life, makes a poor decision and still ends up getting her way in the end. Sure, at the end of the film Ariel steps up her work ethic and defeats Ursula, but Tiana has a strong work ethic from the beginning of the film and never strays from her goals.

     I can relate this to preparing for finals. Many of us wait until the last few weeks of the semester to hunker down and start studying for finals. Perhaps we should be more like Tiana, put in the hard work throughout the semester, then use the last few weeks of the semester to simply review the material we are already confident about.

     We learn early on in her film that Tiana has a dream of owning her own restaurant. She works relentlessly throughout the movie to achieve this goal. In her first solo she sings a song titled “Almost There” which begins with her mother’s warning to not get too consumed by her work and to remember to make time for love.

     Tiana is very career and work oriented and leaves little time for herself to build relationships, much less romantic relationships. In the song, Tiana makes it clear that love is going to have to wait until after she achieves her goals.

     I appreciate this song because it does have shades of the classic “fairytale dreams” we see in other Disney films, but Tiana’s song puts a realistic twist on these dreams. She sings, “I remember Daddy told me, ‘Fairytales can come true, you gotta make ‘em happen, it all depends on you.’” The lyrics tell viewers that is okay to have big dreams, but having a dream isn’t enough, you must also put forth the effort to achieve that dream.

     This concept is relatable to college students because many of us come to university with a dream job in mind, but once your college courses begin, you realize that it takes a lot more than a fairy godmother to make that dream a reality.

     Throughout the movie, Tiana’s main struggle appears to be finding a balance between working and creating memories with loved ones. College students experience the same struggle on a daily basis.

     I believe most of us college students have the opposite problem. We spend too much time socializing and having fun, leaving minimal time to work on assignments. I think Tiana is the perfect role model for college students because her story proves that you can’t achieve your dreams without some effort.

     However, her story also shows us that it is okay to have some fun on the way to achieving your goals and that making lasting relationships with others is never a negative thing. Although the other Disney Princesses have their place in the hearts of many, Tiana should be the Princess that college students should want to imitate most of all due to her dedication, perseverance and passion towards her goals. And for all those graduating this May, just remember you’re “Almost There!

Anna Jaskiewicz is sophmore english major and a contributing writer for The Voice.


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Anna Jaskiewicz, Opinion/Editorial Editor

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