Tuning Into Life

Tuning Into Life

My College Radio Story
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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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If You Wear XL T-Shirts And Shorts, You're The Woman Of My Dreams

Enough with the war on comfort!
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Comfortable can be sexy, simply put.

For some reason there are people complaining out there about the Southern college trend that has been happening the past few years: big t-shirts and shorts, also known as the "srat uniform." There seems to be a clash between the girls who dress "nice" most of the time and girls who dress for comfort. As a guy, I don't see what the big deal is?

For college in the South, there are two reasons to dress up: college football (Roll Tide) and date parties. Any other time, you can find a majority of the female population in shorts and a big t-shirt that makes it look like they're not wearing pants. As a man, I personally don't see anything wrong with this. I love being comfortable as much as the next person, and most guys find the baggy t-shirt and shorts outfit to be cute. There's always a time and place for dresses and rompers.

But for all the haters out there that call these girls in XL t-shirts and shorts lazy, you've got it all wrong.

There are 4 reasons why the girls who don the "srat uniform" have it all figured out.

1. Girls have it rough.

See, it's tough being a girl. I don't know from experience, but I hear it enough and I've seen it enough to know it's true. When girls aren't dealing with f***boys, periods or having to do their hair and makeup routinely, they are being overly criticized by our society. I think society owes girls a break, and that break comes in the comfortable baggy t-shirt and shorts.

2. Southern Not-So-Comfort(able) weather.

Also, for all of the haters, maybe y'all haven't noticed that it's hotter than Satan's balls in the South! Tight, dressy outfits and pants constrict the body and cause you to sweat. I'd rather see a dry girl in a baggy t-shirt than a girl drenched in sweat trying to look cute with her outfit.

3. Perfect doesn't exist.

It's admirable when a girl can unapologetically be herself. A girl in an XL t-shirt and shorts is a girl that is saying "yes, I may have just rolled out of bed and brushed my hair, but I'm here dammit." Social media tells us we all have to be the dolled up, most "perfect" version of ourselves all the time, so it's nice to experience that reality check.

4. Guys think it's cute, regardless.

9 times out of 10, guys in college do not care what you're wearing. Trust me, we aren't doing much better. You could probably put on a garbage bag and we still think you're cute. Any guy that dates a girl that dates a girl only because she dresses nicely all of the time is a shallow man. You're cute, you're comfortable, and that makes for a much better vibe. We all win.

So, in the battle of dressing "nice" and dressing comfortable, I think that the girls who wear an XL t-shirt and shorts chalk up a win in my record book. No, I'm not bashing on girls who have a true sense of style and wear nice clothing... that's a great thing in itself! But, this is college and there are more important things to focus on besides what we're wearing.

Ladies, wear your srat uniform with pride. Some us think it's cute :)

*I want to thank the beautiful ladies at the University of Alabama for inspiring this article.*

Cover Image Credit: Pinterest

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Mariners Catcher Mike Marjama Puts Down His Glove To Join The National Eating Disorder Association

Mike Marjama is defying all stereotypes and speaking up for what he truly believes in.

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Mike Marjama's retirement announcement on Monday came as a shock to many, but he is pursuing much greater things now.

This past March, Mike Marjama publicly opened up about his struggles in high school with anorexia nervosa. As a wrestler, he was faced with abundant pressure to fit into a certain weight category. He was constantly having his body critiqued and compared to other individuals.

After sharing his struggles with the world, Mike Marjama received a plethora of positive feedback and support. So, he decided to work full-time with NEDA to help support individuals struggling just like he struggled.

There is an assumption in the world today that individuals with eating disorders are white, emaciated females. By speaking up, Mike Marjama is defying one of these stereotypes. He is showing that eating disorders do not have a "look" and that males can develop eating disorders, too.

Baseball has been Mike Marjama's life and he is stepping away from that to help support individuals with struggles similar to him. He is stepping away from a job paying him over $500,000 dollars a year in order to volunteer his time to work as a NEDA ambassador. Sports are a great past-time and passion, but Mike Marjama has decided at the young age of 28 to pursue something greater with his life.

I am simply in awe by the courage of this man.

The courage of this man to share his struggles.

The courage of this man to defy the stereotypes.

The courage of this man to aim for something better.

The courage of this man to serve God.

This man speaking out can result in the diagnosis and treatment of males with eating disorders worldwide. It can show men that having an eating disorder does not make them weak, but rather, admitting that they have one makes them strong.

As an individual who has suffered from anorexia nervosa, thank you, Mike Marjama.

Cover Image Credit:

@mike.marjama / Instagram

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