The Circle of College Life

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By: Richard Leeds –

Ah, Disney’s classic 1994 movie The Lion King. It’s a tale as old as time, and a song as old as rhyme. Wait. That’s Beauty and the Beast. Let’s see if we can get back on track. To infinity and beyond! No, that’s Toy Story. Hakuna Matata: it’s a wonderful phrase. That’s more like it!

Now that that’s settled, I’d like to state an obvious truth: The Lion King is one of the most pivotal movies one can watch as one begins their college career. Oh, I’m sorry. Is that not an obvious truth? Then I shall set out to make it so.

Lesson one from The Lion King: dream big. At some point in your senior year of high school, I am sure that you were forced to go meet with a counselor and discuss the future. And while some of you may have had big aspirations of becoming a lawyer, or a doctor, or world famous magician, I would be willing to bet that you, like most soon-to-be college freshmen, had no idea what you wanted. If we look to young Simba, though, we can see a dreamer. He even sings a song with all the animals of the Pride Lands about it. He just can’t wait to be king. This kind of ambition is just what any college student needs. Decide on what you want and envision yourself achieving that goal. Then go beyond that until you have reached your wildest dreams. That’s what Simba does, even if Zazu is way too stuffy about the whole affair.

Lesson “B” from The Lion King: make sure you have good friends. Simba lucks into finding some of the best friends a runaway lion cub could have. While out bowling for buzzards, Timon and Pumba just happen to come across Simba and take him under their wing, metaphorically speaking. They teach him what to eat in his new environment, and he finds it to be “slimy, yet satisfying.” More importantly, they teach him the meaning of being a true friend. And, as true friends often do, they support Simba when he finally decides to be true to himself. These are the kind of friends that you need to have as you continue on your path of higher learning: people who will support you as you figure out who you really are, especially if you are living away from home for the first time. What’s the best way to find these friends? By being a good friend yourself. The best way to make and keep good friends is to be a good friend to them too.

The third lesson from The Lion King: hakuna matata. This fantastic phrase (some might even say “wonderful”) means “no worries.” I cannot stress enough how important this can be in college. Did you do poorly on that test? Hakuna matata, man. It’s no big deal. You need to forget about it and just work hard for the next one. After all, you’ve gotta put your behind in the past. I mean, you have to put the past behind you. True the past can hurt, but you need to keep moving forward.

So now I hope you can see the undeniable truth. The Lion King is the most important movie a college student can watch. Just remember to be true to yourself, be an amazing friend, and hakuna matata. If you take this to heart, then someday everything the light touches will be your kingdom. Oh, and stay away from the elephant graveyard. That place is scary, man.

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