Last semester, I began my tenure at WMFO (Tufts’ freeform radio station) the way most first-semester participants do: with a time slot I never really wanted to be awake for. The hours that are up for grabs for the station’s freshmen generally fall between 2AM and 7 AM. So when I got my first radio show from 7-8 AM every other Monday, I considered myself one of the lucky ones.
But not that lucky. I was doing the show with two friends, and there wasn’t one instance the whole semester that all three of us made it. Sometimes one of us was out of town for a long weekend, and sometimes we would just sleep right through it (for some reason waking up at 6:45 in the morning was no problem throughout high school, but now waking up any time before 9 seems crazy). On the few occasions that the show aired, it was a ton of fun, but as but that was only two or three times over the course of the whole semester.
A stroke of luck turned it all around this semester. A friend and I had worked together at a Connecticut NPR station during our Winter break and decided to get our own radio show going when we got back to campus. We submitted our preferences for reasonable time slots, but expected to get placed in another ungodly hour. It came as a very pleasant surprise, then, when we checked the Spring programming schedule and saw that we would broadcast every Friday from 2-3 PM, a pretty ideal hour. We named our show Funky Uncles, and started up in February.
Each week has been getting closer and closer to the type of college radio experience I had envisioned when I was still in the midst of the application process. The discussions feel more natural, the transitions between songs are fluid and the feedback from friends, who can listen online from anywhere, is always great. Best of all, we have totally free rein regarding what music we play and what we talk about (as long as there’s no cursing), so show is totally personalized. The more comfortable we feel in the studio, the more it feels like we’re just hanging out and showing music to a bunch of friends in a fun, creative way.
So if you’re interested in doing college radio at all, Tufts is the place to be. You have total freedom over the airwaves, and within a couple of months you could be airing at a sweet weekly time.