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I have been working a small job with my school’s admissions office for about a year now. The title of this job is called Cub Connect. I am paid to call students all over Arkansas and the region to let them know about our school. I call them about a variety of things; I call about our Bear Facts Days, our Information Nights, their incomplete applications, or even if they haven’t accepted a scholarship yet. I get different assignments based on the time of the year, but I can tell a lot about a student based solely on calling them on the phone.

1. No specialized ringback tones, please. Do you remember ringback tones? I honestly thought they’d faded into obscurity until I began my job calling people’s phones. It doesn’t happen very much, but every so often I will be reminded that ringback tones actually exist. In case you are wondering what this is, a ring back tone is what you hear when you call someone. Some people unfortunately love to have personalized ringback tones. This is a-okay if you have certain ringback tones. Here are things you should avoid:

  • Sexual References: You think this would be a no brainer, you would be wrong.
  • Cursing: You may curse like a sailor in real life, but keep that out of your ringback tones.
  • Loud Music: If your music is unusually loud, don’t use it as a ringback tone. You never know who may be calling you, and they might not take a liking to screaming music.

So what should you have as a ring back tone?

  • Soft Music: Ocean waves for the win? Having soft music playing would be very soothing and ten times better than the normal day to day ringing you here.
  • Classical Music: A little Beethoven is okay in my book, plus it makes you look ten times smarter!
  • Popular Music with No Bad Things: There are plenty of songs or parts of songs that are catchy, but don’t have any of the above bad things in them. It’s just all about finding music that is nice!

As a person calling from a college I don’t want to stop you if you are having fun with your ringback tone, but be advised–colleges are calling you and they can also hear it!

2. Fix your message. A lot of people love to be super quirky and cool with their voice messages, and this is a great thing up to a point. You have to realize that once you hit a certain age, important people will be calling you! They will hear your ringback tones, and most important, they will hear your voicemail message. Here are a few tips on creating great messages:

  • Keep it short: Yes, longer messages can be fun sometimes, but people have things to do. If they have sat on the phone that long, it’s obviously very important. Please keep your message short and to the point so that people can leave a message as quickly as possible.
  • Keep it clean: This is not a place to show off the crude joke or nasty statement that you found really funny. This is not a place to be vulgar or curse. Keep your message as clean as possible.
  • Keep it professional: Your go to message “Hi, my name is (your name). I can’t get to the phone right now, but if you leave your name; number; and a brief message I will get back to you as soon as possible.” Yes, it’s boring, but it is very effective.

If you stick with these tips then your message is sure to be awesome and it will show you off in a very positive light!

3. Give the school your number, not your parents’ numbers. I know you love to trust your parents, but they aren’t the ones heading off to college soon; you are! There is literally no one more invested in something you do than you. Always give colleges your personal contact information, not your parents’. If you don’t want to be contacted by a college, just don’t give them your phone number when you sign up for things. It’s as simple as leaving your phone number off the paper. I know you may be easily coaxed into handing out your information, because it’s not yours, it’s your parents’. Don’t do that. Only give your information to colleges you are actually interested in. However, if you don’t have a cell phone and you cannot help but give your parents number, here is how you can be an awesome person:

  • Let Your Parents Know: Whenever your write your parents number down on anything college related, let them know. This is great because they should know who you are giving their number to. This is also great so your parents know to be on the best behavior when they get a call from someone they don’t know.
  • Fill Your Parents in on College Information: Your parents may be asked some questions about you and what decisions you may be making. Let your parents know information about your college process so that they can give intelligent answers to anyone who may be calling to talk to you.

4. Remember Your Manners: When talking to a person who is calling from a college, remember to be a nice individual. Depending on the college, what you say could impact their viewpoint of you. Obviously if I call you, I am just a student so what I think of you really doesn’t matter that much. There are people who do make decisions on your college campus though, and they may call to talk to you. You never know who you are talking to when you answer the phone so just try to be as polite as possible.

I hope these tips were helpful for you, propsies! While it’s always fun and games to see certain things happening on the phone you have to remember that what happens on the phone may affect you later in life. Yes, it’s fun to have an out there ring back tone, or a curse-filled voice mail message, but you have to think long term.

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the author

Amanda Cross is a Junior at the University of Central Arkansas where she studies Sociology with a minor in Public Relations. Amanda is the Housing Chair for the Alpha Omicron chapter of Sigma Sigma Sigma and a UCA Ambassador on her campus. When Amanda is not at school you can usually find her blogging, reading, hanging out with friends/family, or sleeping. Amanda writes her own blog titled College is Love, and she also writes for UChic and The Smart Girls Group Loop.

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