I don’t know if it’s the lack of sleep (it’s 5:48 AM as I type this, and I’m running on 2 hours sleep), or the fact that I’m just naturally an introspective person, but whatever it is, memories are flooding back to me on this early Saturday morning of our 30 hour sports marathon.
So much of what we do at WNUR is about opportunities. There are many of us here, myself included, who want to broadcast sports for a living. For those of us that’s true for, you would be hard pressed to find a better place to hone your craft than at WNUR. This Fall alone, we as a station will broadcast over 50 games. During the winter, we have the unique opportunity to travel with Northwestern women’s basketball as the flagship radio station. on and on the opportunities go.
Yes, the opportunities here are important, and I don’t want to minimize those. College is about preparation, and nothing will get you more prepared to be in sports media than working for WNUR Sports.
But it’s not the opportunities that I’m reminiscing on as I intake my second V8 of the early morning alone in the On-Air Control Room. Because for as great as the opportunities are here at WNUR, it’s the memories that have made my time at this radio station.
Transitioning to college is hard. It becomes harder when you don’t know anyone at the new school you’ve just been dropped off at. Harder still is realizing your best friends are now separated from you by thousands of miles. My first year of college was not easy. I got plugged in at WNUR, but wasn’t incredibly involved.
I was missing out.
After some tough personal circumstances during the summer between my freshman year and sophomore year, I came back to Northwestern for my Sophomore year feeling as alone as I ever had in my life. Now living in a single room, it didn’t seem like my prospects for social interaction were high either. With really no other choice, and still knowing I wanted to broadcast sports for a living, I forced myself to become a more active member of this radio station.
It was one of the best choices of my life.
Over the course of my Sophomore year, I travelled to some pretty awesome places (and State College Pennsylvania on New Year’s Eve, which is decidedly less awesome): Assembly Hall in Bloomington, Williams Arena in Minneapolis, the women’s Big Ten Tournament in Indianapolis, South Bend for a lacrosse regional, and Athens Georgia for a softball regional. The places I travelled to were pretty darn awesome, and calling those games was incredible, but better yet were the people I went there with, and the memories I made.
It is not an understatement to say that my best friends at Northwestern have come from WNUR. Without this radio station, I would not have the long-lasting, deep friendships I have.
Because of WNUR, I have connections with these truly wonderful people, connections that will hopefully last a lifetime. Because of WNUR, Will Greer and I will always have that wonderful weekend in Athens Georgia. A weekend that was so much more than the games we broadcasted. Because of WNUR, Jason Dorow and I will always have that magical 5 days in Indianapolis with Northwestern women’s basketball last March. Because of WNUR, Caleigh Ryan and I will always be able to bond over our experiences “calling” lacrosse. On and on the memories go.
What makes WNUR so special is not the games we broadcast. Those are great, but what makes WNUR special are the late night runs to a Waffle House in Athens, Georgia, and being forced to pick up the bill because Peja Stojakovic couldn’t hit a game-winning 12-footer in NBA 2k13 earlier that night. What makes WNUR so special is walking to TGI Friday’s in Indianapolis after another unbelievable Northwestern win and breaking out a 10 year old coupon for free appetizers and watching in disbelief as the waitress accepts it.
I could go on forever. I could tell you about buying 13 bagels in New Jersey, or a late night burger in Minneapolis. I could tell you about driving to South Bend to call a sport I don’t even like, but loving the trip because of the people I was with.
On and on it goes.
I try to live my life by the adage: love what you do, do what you love. There is no question that I love what I do at WNUR. I wouldn’t be sports director if I didn’t. I wouldn’t be alone in the studio right now keeping things rolling for our lone fundraiser of the year if I didn’t.
What we here do matters. Not only because we relate the scores of Northwestern athletics to you, but because while doing so we have the time of our lives.
WNUR is important not just because of the experience and opportunities it affords to us, but because of the memories it helps us make. When you donate to WNUR, you’re not just allowing us to prepare for life after college, you’re helping us make lifelong memories while we’re here, and that’s really what it’s all about.
Austin Miller is a junior from Raleigh, NC and is one of WNUR’s current co-sports directors. To find out more about how you can donate to Sportsathon 2016, click HERE