Jane Igharo is a freelance journalist and an aspiring novelist. She graduated from the University of Toronto with a BA in journalism
Developing a crush on a college professor is something that many students experience. When this occurs, a student’s greatest motivation for attending class is the anticipation of ogling their crush.
While many students might see their developing feelings as innocent, this is not always the case. Batting lashes, hair flips, sly, implying smiles, and playful fantasies all act as accomplices in a full-blown crush that could lead to hurt, disappointment, or embarrassment.
Although a student developing a crush on a professor is quite common, many are still unable to avoid the cliché. While some might say developing a crush on a professor is unavoidable, this is not entirely the case.
The first step to avoiding the development of a crush is by separating fantasy from reality. Often, students tend to fall in love with a fantasy. Truthfully, whom students envision professors to be, are not whom they really are. The commanding, intelligent, and charismatic professor that is idolized in class might not be the same person outside of class. In fact, the classroom might be a professor’s safe haven – where he or she can be bold, confident, authoritative, and passionate. The authority they are given by the administration allows such, but they don’t have this authority in every aspect of their lives. To avoid crushing on a professor, a student must focus on the person the professor is outside of class and not the person they have idolized based on their fantasy.
Another step to avoiding the development of a crush is by knowing the difference between love and admiration. Often, college students are young and uncertain. While going through this stage of life where they are trying to determine who they are, a confident, intelligent, and certain professor can easily become a representation of what they desire for themselves. This is known as an aspirational crush. Often, students crush on professors because the professor has attributes that they desire for themselves. While they might believe that they want to be with them, they actually want to be like them. The admiration of character should be clearly distinguished from love. Confusing the two may result in a crush.
Another step to avoiding the development of a crush is by clearly understanding the consequences that are associated with it. While a crush might lead to an affair, it is quite unlikely that an affair might lead to a happily ever after. As a result of an affair, jobs might be lost, reputations might be ruined, charges might be filed, and lives might be ruined. The consequences of a crush turned affair, far outweighs any pleasure that might come from it.
Developing a crush on a professor can be avoided. Separating fantasy from reality, differentiating love and admiration, and understanding the consequences, are three steps that can help in avoiding the cliché.
The college experience should be treasured and enjoyed; the knowledge and the enthusiasm acquired can take students to many wonderful places – places other than their professors’ bed.