I was a college radio DJ all four years I was in school. I did it all. I started with a show from 1-3am Monday mornings, I made my way to prime time. I realized I liked playing my own music better so I switched to specialty. I had a radio show when I studied abroad. All of my free time was spent in the studio, even some time when I should have been in class.
We’re a mysterious bunch, us radio kids. It takes a certain kind of person to enjoy sitting in a dimly lit (usually freezing) room, in the back of a building, at weird hours of the day, talking to themselves. Most of the time we are shy, we have opinions on music and we will not be afraid to tell you them. We have a fierce sort of passion for music that probably trumps almost everything else in our lives which is why sitting alone in the dark talking to ourselves while forcing people to listen to the songs we choose is the dream. I met some of the greatest people I know while working at my campus station and had the absolute time of my life. I got to interview some killer bands and saved tons of money by never having to pay for shows.
Listen, we get it: you kind of don’t totally understand us (unless you are one of us) and that is fine. People ask questions. Questions are fine. However, here are 20 things that every college radio DJ has heard, and is pretty tired of hearing.
1. Wait so you’re like Deadmau5?
No, I’m like David Dye.
2. Will you play my band on your show?
Maybe, but definitely probably not.
3. Wait what about this band? Have you heard about this band?
4. Isn’t that like, super bad for your hearing?
What? Sorry I couldn’t hear you.
5. So is this what you want to do after college? How much money do DJs make anyway?
Well, DJs are actually paid in 45s but does anyone really know what they want to do after college?
6. Hey I heard this song like an hour ago it kind of went like [hums something vaguely representing an ancient tribal rain chant] do you know what it was?
Can you give me some lyrics? Was it a man or woman? Can you give me literally any more information than this, I am not a wizard. (Side note on this though, I used to actually be really good at this, even though it was still pretty annoying.)
7. Can’t you just give me those tickets you are giving away?
8. No but really will you play my band on your show? Here is the demo we made on my laptop in our dorm.
Sorry I have to go to class
9. Don’t you ever get sick of going to concerts?
I literally have never in my life gotten sick of going to concerts but thanks for asking
10. Haha you’re a DJ? Is it like Pitch Perfect?
I wish college DJ boys had abs like that.
11. Can you DJ my next party?
I can make you a playlist on Spotify of songs that no one can dance to and sit quietly in the corner making sure the volume on the ads isn’t too loud
12. Isn’t radio totally dying?
Aren’t we all dying, in a sense?
13. What’s your favorite band?
Do you have 6 hours?
14. You have an amazing voice, want to grab some coffee sometime?
Sorry, I try to not go on dates with disembodied voices that come through the request line
15. This wasn’t the song I requested, you’re the worst human!
There are a few reasons why I didn’t play your request:
We don’t have it
It didn’t fit the show theme
I had to play underwriting
16. Please? We are really trying to get break out, let me just give you are demo to play on your show
Can you not?
17. You sure do have the face for radio!
You’re an a**
18. Ew. Why did you play this song? I hate this song
Sorry I can’t hear you, this is totally not good for my hearing
19. Want to go hiking?
I hate sunlight
20. Will you just pla-
Are you a college radio DJ?
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image via iStock