I still remember saying goodbye to my parents as they departed the Kirkwood Village West parking lot. The only thought that I had at the time was questioning if I was ready to live by myself for the first time. Not meeting my roommates beforehand only amplified my nerves.

            Of course, no move-in day would be complete without encountering numerous annoyances. Kirkwood Community College does not have on-campus housing, there were two options that I had, Kirkwood Village East or West. Village East was easily within walking distance from the main campus, while West was several miles away. Due to this East was a much more desirable location for students. Regardless I was excited to be moving into the unit with three other roommates that I would be sharing the space with. 

            When I arrived outside of my apartment I was immediately greeted with an issue. Instead of a traditional key, they used a keypad system for the entrances. While I received this among other information at the orientation that I just returned from, the code wouldn’t work. Keep in mind this is after we unloaded several things getting ready to quickly move them into the apartment. That plan was dead on arrival due to my code not working. So, I start to get into my car to head back to the main office to find out what the deal is, someone, tapped me on the shoulder. “You living in 116?” I turn around to find one of the tallest people that I have met in my life. “My name is Devon I just finished moving in earlier.” I replied eagerly “Yep, just having some problems with the keypad. My Name Is Matthew I’m from Sioux City.” He looked at me like I just asked him to recite the United States Constitution from memory. “What are you doing on the other side of the state?” I told him the truth. “I was looking to get out of town and live by myself, Kirkwood drew my interest when I made a visit earlier this year.” He nodded as he entered the same code that I was given and miraculously unlocked the door on the first try.

            During my senior year of High School, I was under constant stress about my post-secondary education. I didn’t have a clear idea of what I wanted to do. Being able to complete several college classes through Western Iowa Tech during my senior year was a great advantage. I took everything from arc welding to a web coding class. Even then, no specific career path was piquing my interest.

            As I was working on unpacking and visualizing where everything was going to end up Devon and I hear the front door open. I saw his parents before I met Alec for the first time. Not quite as tall as Devon, but still much taller than me. He almost looked like Carrot Top with bright wild red-orange hair.  I was introduced to my third roommate in a curious way. His room door was open when I arrived. I could tell what his major was right away. It was a culture shock seeing mechanical tools spread all over, but an even bigger surprise was the car bumper on his bed. Nick who was the only one of us in his second year was studying to be a mechanic. He certainly helped me out with my car several times.

            Being alone for the first time was both an exciting and nerve-wracking experience. Invigorating because it was my first taste of independence, but terrifying for that same reason. This would be the first time that I would be alone. Well not entirely since I had a family member who lived a stone’s throw from Cedar Rapids to Marion. But other than that, the nearest family I had was over four and a half hours away. For the most part, I was on my own. It was the first time that I had utilities in my name, had a lease in my name, and had to work two jobs on top of a full-time class load. 

            While I was at Kirkwood, I was just completing my general education requirements. Things you would expect like algebra, public speaking, and of course an introduction to college class. It wasn’t until my second semester when a class sparked my interest. While I was walking to my algebra class, I noticed a radio station. At the time, I thought that it was unusual to have a radio station in a college. When I peered into the large window into the station there were CD’s scattered everywhere in a disorganized mess. It looked like a bomb went off in the studio.

            The station there is used only as an extra circular activity, so I jumped at the chance to learn more about it. KCCK 88.3 FM is a public station that is licensed to the college, similar to KWIT on the Western Iowa Tech campus. What was intended to be “just a hobby” for students sparked an interest in me.  When I returned to Sioux City and enrolled at WITCC, Audio Engineering became my major, my passion, and my career choice. …