Falling Hard for Career Crushes

If anyone in college needs colored chalk, it’s the faculty who staff the economics department. The lecturers’ penchant for writing on blackboards (oh, how I miss PowerPoints) plus the frequency of convoluted graphs (we start with two lines, but those lines like to shift a lot) make color-coding a necessity.

Intermediate microeconomic analysis—a class I personally love—isn’t universally liked or admired. The happiest moments in the semester are usually right after a midterm exam because that means no homework for a week. For me, the happiest moment was when my professor pulled out a box of colored chalk. I excitedly pulled out my Zebra mildliners to match him.

“Someone in the other class left these for me,” he mused, ripping the box open. “I have a secret admirer.”

Students crushing on professors is a frequent phenomenon often chalked up to a sort of transference, featuring the appeal of control and authority a university instructor wields over a student. A perusal of certain Rate My Professor reviews includes a lot of comments with words like “hot” or “easy on the eyes.” Beyond that more shallow admiration, however, there is the career crush.

I can’t help but admire my professors so much after a particularly engaging and relevant lecture or class. This goes beyond just a positive evaluation and a gushing Rate My Professor entry— I can’t help but fantasize about the professor as an advisor, a mentor, an older and wiser figure in my life. In my perfect world, I can stop by their office casually to say hi and catch up, and in the future, I can email them excitedly about my career/life/further education and they’ll enthusiastically respond.

This isn’t just limited to professors. I’ve felt this way about TAs, TFs, and even my peers. When I hear some of my coworkers talk about the rigor of their classes, their heavy extracurricular involvement, and the exciting internships/projects they’re doing, I can’t help but think, oh my god, I’m falling so hard right now.

This is, of course, platonic. When my LinkedIn requests are confirmed, I internally squeal in excitement. When my TA smiles at me, or when my professor thanks me with my name when I hand in my exam, it makes my whole day.

College is the perfect breeding ground for the development of professional infatuations. I firmly believe that there is no other setting with so many potential role models around you, ranging from the charismatic professor that (you hope) cares about you to the woman you see on the street who is the President of a million things and also has time to be social and friendly.

Do you have a career crush?

 

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