9 Stages of Crushing on Your Professor, as Told by Tina Belcher

Are you experiencing dizziness, nausea, flutters, flushing or confusion in class? Then you might have a crush on your professor. Crushes are not contagious and they generally have a two- to three-week incubation period. It’s not life threatening, but talk to your doctor if you’re experiencing these symptoms.

1. Initiation
You start noticing your professor’s positive qualities, such as their exceedingly good looks or overall intelligence. At first it’s quaint and engaging.

2. Denial
You might think, “No big deal, of course you can be smart and good looking and overall perfect. This doesn’t mean I’m in love with you. I'm simply a mature adult that recognizes beauty standards across all levels and forms. This is just admiration for nature.” Recognize this stage as denial.

3. Infatuation
From here you will start thinking everything they do is super cute. For example, you might think, “Look at how he holds his coffee,” or “I love how she emphatically gestures even the most nonsensical things.” This is a natural and mostly innocent stage of infatuation, but beware if your condition starts to worsen.

4. Acceptance
The next stage is one of slow realization and/or confusion. “Oh my gosh... do I have a crush?” Yes, yes you do. It’s time to start considering treatment options.

5. Avoidance
Once you’ve accepted the crush, you’ll feel bashful around your beloved professor. This stage is wrought with refusal to make eye contact, and that is a red flag.

6. Intensification
You’ll know when you’ve reached a full-blown crush. There will be excessive head nodding, supplemented with increased attempts to make brazen eye contact. You may start to “dress to impress” or wear makeup. Anything to get your professor’s attention.

7. Interference
This stage will interfere with your grades. You try so hard to prove you're paying attention that you actually miss all the important information for the exam. It only gets worse from here. You’ll toss and turn in bed and be continuously distracted by your crush.

8. Bonding
If you start visiting all the office hours with lame excuses, you’ve let your condition go untreated for too long. Your professor will not be fooled with questions that can be answered in the syllabus, by the way.

9. Termination
Seriously, please seek medical attention. When the semester is nearing the end, you’ll find yourself in tears and there will be no more excuses to meet with your professor.

As your crush begins to wind down you’ll feel more free — emptier, but lighter. Soon you’ll forget all about your professor. Until next semester of course, when crush season begins again.

Developing a crush on your professor is something most college students will go through, like getting hungover or catching a cold. There is no reason to feel shame. Learn to recognize the signs to prevent a full-blown crush. Thankfully, once you’re over it there will be no residual symptoms or signs. Full recovery is expected from each case.

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