Riley Friesner ’20: Life has surface noise

In this series, graduating seniors from the Class of 2020 share their thoughts and reflections as their final semester comes to an end in ways that no one ever expected. 

Riley Friesner

While defending the sound of vinyl over compact discs, John Peel once said, “Listen, mate, life has surface noise.” Over the course of four years, Goshen College has ingrained in me the ability to find hope in any circumstance, and COVID-19 has certainly left us in an unfavorable one. While I want more than anything to be celebrating on campus with my fellow seniors on graduation day, I know that this time apart is essential to the health and safety of everyone involved. I find hope in knowing that this isn’t goodbye for the class of 2020. This is just the surface noise, and beautiful music is on its way.

I have made lifelong friendships while studying at Goshen College, especially at 91.1 FM The Globe (WGCS). As a commuter student, WGCS was where I spent most of my time. It was like my home away from home, and the staff was like my family. I will always remember the feeling of being recognized as “Best College Radio Station” for the second year in a row by the Indiana Association of School Broadcasters, and our yearly trips to New York City over spring break for the Intercollegiate Broadcasting System awards. As my professor Jason Samuel would say, “We work hard, and we play hard.”

Right now, I am focusing my efforts on looking for work as a radio broadcaster. I have more time on my hands because in addition to stay-at-home orders and finishing my classes, my wedding, which was planned for the end of May, has been postponed. However, finding a job is a challenge during the coronavirus pandemic because most companies are on a hiring freeze, but I’m not letting that stop me from practicing my on-air abilities! I have a small home studio setup where I have been working on demos for possible employers and starting a podcast. So, when this is all over, I’ll be ready.

Riley Friesner is a broadcasting major from Elkhart, Indiana. She is the student station manager of 91.1 FM (WGCS) The Globe and has won more than 20 state and national broadcasting awards, including best radio air personality by both the national Broadcast Education Association and Indiana Association of School Broadcasters.