In the very deepest depths of the ocean, there are fish that live and die without ever seeing or sensing the sun. If they stray away from the ocean floor and swim towards the surface, they combust—perishing almost instantly. It is not the external pressure that destroys them, but its absences.
In life, stepping beyond comfort zones and personal limitations in a gradual way is a key component in living a life of purpose and fulfillment. That is why I’m a radio show host at KSSU. It is the essence of exploration and passion. It is what you make it.
KSSU is an opportunity. It’s a safe zone to test your own personal boundaries at the pace you determine. Whether it’s challenging yourself by starting a new weekly segment or reaching out to local bands for a live interview, the opportunities are endless. It’s the one place where failure ceases to exist.
To many people, college radio means very little, and to few people, college radio means freedom. Those who haven’t experienced it can’t see what’s below the surface.
So let’s talk about it. What’s the deal with college radio?
For starters, college radio is a direct link to community engagement. Not only does KSSU feed the airways with campus PSA’s, but it is a bridge for community partners to reach our students as well. Nearby events, public information, or even some hardy food for thought from off-campus entities would no longer have a home if there wasn’t a college station to be the voice. Local bands gain a decent amount of traction with college students simply because students turn to college radio to hear something different, something they haven’t heard yet. It’s a lose lose without our stations.
This day in age, many students don’t have access to college radio. They don’t think about it, it’s not important to them. Where else are you going to hear all these innovative tracks and up and coming artists? The mainstream stations? Probably not. You’ll hear the same recycled tracks on any given station and think, “Why should I bother with radio especially when I have my ipod or Pandora? Why should I listen to someone else choose what I listen to if I already know what I like?” Those stations play McDonald’s music. It’s produced to taste good, or in this case, sound good even though it’s full of unnatural fillers with no redeeming qualities, but college radio is different. You hear local talent. If you just listen to Spotify and Pandora you’ll hear well known artists, but you won’t hear from the 200+ artists that are stacked on our walls or that are driving up and down our local streets. You won’t even know what you’ll be missing out on, therefore, our station exposes artists to an audience they don’t have access to. This is what makes college radio authentic and personal.
Also, college radio is, in itself, a home. For the students that don’t identify with one specific club or are interested in something unique and different, KSSU is where they can express all of their interests. Sure there are organizations that I am involved with on campus other than our student run radio, but there’s no place else that is truly comparable. I’m able to be completely and utterly myself when I’m running in and out of the station. Sometimes I feel as though I don’t belong anywhere else simply because that’s the only place I can be whoever I want to be, and I’m sure the other volunteer DJ’s can agree to some level. Whether we’re playing Smash Bros. or Magic the Gathering or even discussing different music selections, we are engaging in something you won’t always find in one place or with anyone else. We’re all a bunch of misfits really, and I wouldn’t want it any other way.
College radio is so ridiculously important. I could write a novel about it (believe me). It challenges one to go outside of their comfort zone and into a realm of misfit toys. College radio is a beautiful thing.
Mia is a DJ with KSSU listen to her once a week on the Mighty Mia Power Hour