Tuning Into Life

Tuning Into Life

My College Radio Story

If someone would have told me a year ago that I would have real radio experience after starting college as a journalism major, I would have laughed out loud and went on my merry way. Yet here I sit, ready to start my second year of school, and I can't help but reflect on the past years of my life, and how they led to where I am now.

Radio is just one of those things there is no substitute for. Sure, we all have our phones with music streaming out our ears, but it's not radio, no matter how hard it tries to be. And for someone like myself who is low vision, radio was my TV, a place to see familiar personalities, a place to enjoy sports, radio dramas, and to listen to more music than should probably be legal.

I got my first boombox on my 9th birthday, and from then on, I was glued to it day and night, listening to country, talk radio, public radio and anything I could pick up, trying to learn about the world through dials and knobs, and even still, a bit beat up and dusty, that same boombox lives next to my bed, a broken tape player with AM FM radio still intact, and, the most important part of the whole set, the CD player, still clicking along. My first CDs were Allen Jackson and Carrie Underwood, artists I still love today. This was at a time where new CDs cost upwards of $20 apiece. For some, that may seem like I'm young, but now, that medium really doesn't exist anymore with streaming services being as prevalent as they are. And yes, before anyone else asks, I love and use Spotify just as much as anyone else, so yes, I'm guilty of my own crime.

But radio has and will hold a place in my heart. I had the chance to meet one of the personalities of a local station the other day, and it made me remember the days when morning shows were run by human beings rather than computers, I was even on the radio a few times growing up. And for me, it was amazing, because let's say you see someone from TV that you watch. They may look different than you expect them to, whereas when you meet someone from radio, they still have the same voice, you really can only change that so much. And with each voice comes a personality, someone you come to trust, and those people I listened to leap to the forefront of my mind as I write this.

So, my Freshman year of college, when the opportunity to take a radio prac class, a practical class in real radio, presented itself, I decided to do it, and it was easily the best decision I made my first year of college. I learned about more than just the class, got real experience, and learned a lot along the way.

As the semester progressed, so did my confidence in my ability to be an on-air personality, playing DJ on Saturday afternoons, as well as tailgating before football games with other members of our executive board. It is here that I learned about the true value of spirit, the fact that our football team did so well doesn't hurt one bit, as our mascot frequented our place in the parking lot. And of course, there was a running play by play broadcast live, so I knew the players well enough by the end of the season to understand stats and numbers, following our team until an unfortunate defeat in the playoffs that people still really don't want to talk about.

During second semester, things got rough for me. I went through some ups and some downs, but the two constant things were a best friend and a radio station. My show grew to something more, where I was able to host guests and talk about different aspects of campus life, and also, I had a show talking about books with a friend. Both went better than I could have hoped for, though both at the same time was a lot of work.

From football games and alternative tunes, to talking with friends and learning about how the field is played, radio has taught me much after just a year, and I hope it continues to do so this next year. I will be Assistant Promotions Director at 91.7 The Edge, and I encourage you to check it out. It's a great student run station that has made a difference in my life, and we appreciate those that listen. So, break away from the mainstream stations and try something new, just as I did, and give us a listen sometime!

Cover Image Credit: facebook

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The Universal Love Of Soccer

Wrapped up in the beauty of a sport.

As a kid, I remember my parents signing me, along with my older siblings, up for a recreational soccer league. They enrolled us in a multitude of different activities as well, from dance to tennis to martial arts. But little did I know that I would later find myself coming back to soccer in my middle school years where I played for about two years on an Athena A travel league, and would later find myself in high school not being able to go a week without kicking or at least juggling the ball for a couple of minutes a day. Even though I no longer play for a competitive travel league and have instead picked up a passion for running, I still find myself loving the beauty behind the sport itself. If you’ve never played the sport before or are on the verge of giving it a try, these perks of the sport prove that soccer is the world's language for people of all ages and is mending the world's diversity through the love of one simple team sport.

1. Location is never an excuse.

When it comes to playing a game or just playing by yourself, you can pretty much find anywhere to kick. Other sports, like tennis, have to be played in its specific location -- on a tennis court -- and although some sports can technically be replicated in other areas, it’s not the most fitting as soccer is in just about any place. I remember being on vacation in Mexico one summer, and playing soccer with complete strangers who I’d never met before, on the beach, using random sticks we found to create markings for two goal posts and kicking barefoot on the sand. Whether it’s in the middle of the street in your neighborhood or at an actual soccer park, you can find pretty much anywhere to start a pickup game with anyone.

2. Accessibility

Whereas other sports require a ton of equipment, soccer is beautiful in its simplicity. Although some sports, such as football also follow this “simplicity rule” of just needing a ball and you’re good, the majority of other sports don’t carry the same way. For example, in volleyball, it’s difficult to play the sport without a net, which is unlikely to be randomly carrying around, or in basketball without a hoop. Soccer is one of the simplest sports to play, with only truly requiring one piece of equipment, a ball, if you just want to pass with other people or train by yourself.

3. Learnability

Whereas many sports ential complicated rules, soccer is universally much easier to understand how to play. Because there aren’t constricting positions in a pickup game, anyone can shoot or defend at any time or have fun doing anything in between. Other sports, such as football or basketball, that have more rules than soccer make the game harder to learn for anyone, whether they’re little kids or adults. Soccer isn’t a sport that requires for all players to be able to speak the same language either -- body language is key in the sport, to communicate with other players on a simpler and universal basis.

4. Weather permitting

The aspect I probably love most about soccer is that it can be played just about anywhere. Whether it’s an indoor league, outside on a hot summer day or in the pouring rain on muddy grass, the sport is always enjoyable in just about any circumstance. Because many parks are switching from grass to turf fields, this makes it much easier to play on a reliably flat surface, whereas other sports, such as tennis require a non-rainy day.

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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Why It's Still Great To Be a Georgia Bulldog

Last Monday was rough.

Yeah. So that happened.

It felt like the entire season was a dream. An incredible takeover in South Bend and a win over Notre Dame. Shutting out Tennessee. A loss to Auburn, and then a revenge win and an SEC Championship title. A stress-inducing win in double overtime at the Rose Bowl against Oklahoma.

A national championship game against Alabama. A nail-biting overtime. And then...

It's over. Just like that.

It can be hard with football to grasp the suddenness of the moment, the finality of a game-winning touchdown or a crucial missed call. There's no going back; the final score is the final score, the winner is the winner, and the losing team is left to pick up the pieces. For the fans of the team that comes up short, more specifically Georgia fans, a loss like the one we all experienced Monday night can feel like someone has ripped our hearts out. Because that's our team down on that field, on that screen, and when they hurt, we hurt, too. With a loss like this, it's easy to lose hope in not just our football team, but our university.

However, even though I and the rest of Bulldog Nation was seriously hurting during that game, I came to realize a few things about my school.

We are so positive all the time and it truly inspires me. Yes, it felt like the energy was sucked out of Athens the moment the game ended, but the day after, we still welcomed our team home with crowds of hundreds of fans and posters saying, "Still Proud!" At this institution, even if you come up short, even if you fail, it's okay. It's a part of the process: a building block, if you will. Find another solution. Find another way.

It feels like a family in Athens, Georgia. Even cheering for our dawgs in the National Championship felt like I was cheering for my local high school football team: there's a small town feel to this school and you can definitely sense it. So when we lost, we felt the loss collectively.

Finally, I realized that I never want to be at any other school other than the University of Georgia. Say what you will about our loss being in "typical Georgia" fashion, but there is a special air about this place that screams anything but "losers". It screams success and drive. It screams passion. Most importantly, it screams love.

So yeah, Monday sucked. But it is an incredible time to be a Georgia Bulldog.

Cover Image Credit: StadiumDB

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