Like most universities, Trent has always given their students the opportunity to expand their interests through extra-curricular groups. Social interest clubs and sports teams top the bill in most cases, but Trent still offers something more.
As a fourth year student at Trent, I have had the pleasure of working with Trent Radio for three years. Every year, I am blown away by the great work and dedication of the volunteers and staff at Trent Radio, and, every year, I have a blast doing my show and seeing the other programmers’ ideas.
However, I’m also, every year, without fail, faced with hearing, “What is Trent Radio? I didn’t even know Trent had a station!”
Of course, smaller universities like Trent do face the challenge of awareness. You might not expect that this would be an issue since there’s a smaller student body to inform, but because of the variety of clubs offered, and the sheer number of students who can become involved, it is difficult to spread the word about certain topics.
Because of my active role within Trent Radio, it still breaks my heart when I have to explain to people that we do, in fact, exist. And, more importantly, that we aren’t all, as Homestar Runner’s Strongbad once said, “bewildered freshmen who wander into the booth and try to run a radio station” (though most of us do start out that way).
Personally, I know over the years that I have tried to get as many people to come into the booth as possible to co-host on my show. For so many it is a panicky and daunting experience, but 90 percent of the time it makes them realize that being on the radio is unbelievably fun, and, really, not scary at all.
Shows are tough, of course, and everyone has those days where you leave your microphone slide up, and end up talking or coughing over your music, not realizing that the big red light is still on. As well, though we can sound as prepared as we’d like on the air, everyone (myself included) has done a “wing it” show: marginally prepared, working between songs to decide what you are going to do next. It’s stressful, but it’s also amazing. Plus, you get to learn on the go, and boy, do you learn fast!
Now, I know that everyone who is part of a group, whether it’s a sports team, a hacky sack group, or a Dungeons and Dragons club, will always say that their club is amazing. I am not unlike these enthusiasts, nor will I pretend that I’m above shamelessly screaming Trent Radio’s praises or mere existence from a rooftop. (However, I do prefer typing out these sentiments instead. It is much safer, and I run less the risk of plummeting to my death.)
Regardless, it must be said that with graduation looming over me this year, I know that one of the things I will miss most about my years here at Trent will be Trent Radio.
For those reading this, whether you’re a first year or an alumnus, Trent Radio is a brilliant place for you to get involved. Whether as an on-air personality, a volunteer, or just to check out a place where you can learn the ropes of radio, Trent Radio has great people, great ideas, and just something special that, as it seems for many people on campus, Trent has coveted as its hidden little gem on the corner of George and Parkhill.