At some point, it seems like we’ve seen all the frat houses there are to see, met all the guys there are to meet, and even hooked up with all of the ones that are worth hooking up with. College communities can get really small really fast, and before we know it, we collegiettes seem to run ourselves in circles by hanging out with the same crowd night after night, and inevitably hooking up with the same guys – or, more simply, no guys at all.
If you’re stuck in a rut, and it’s looking like there are absolutely zero options for potential crushes, it might be time to backtrack. Take a trip down memory lane (distantly and not-so-distantly), with Her Campus’s guidance, of course, and figure out which guys from your past are totally worth revisiting (we promise, there are some!).
The guy from freshman year Stat 101.
He sat behind you; you exchanged hi’s and bye’s; you did homework together a few times; the semester ended. Well, you definitely let that one slip away, but lucky for you, you have his number from when you had to meet to collaborate in the library (note: if this is not true, this is where expert Facebook-stalking skills come into play – we know you’ve got ‘em). If you’re uncomfortable sending him a random text, try a Facebook message suggesting that it’d be nice to catch up. And if you happen to run into him on campus, don’t settle for a quick hello – chat him up, reconnect, and propose to hang out sometime soon. A casual lunch, coffee or stroll around campus or town are good options for this kind of get-together.
The guy who always offers to help you with your homework.
If he offers to help you with your work, he’s obviously interested in spending time with you outside of the classroom. Sure, maybe he just wants to be friends, but even so, this smart, kind type of guy is good to have around. But if his actions suggest that “homework help” is just a euphemism for “make out sesh,” see where it goes. Whatever you’re getting – actual homework help or “homework help” – this guy is worth reaching out to.
The guy who went with you from high school to college.
Even though you weren’t really friends in high school, it was nice to see a familiar face around campus when you first arrived freshman year. Reach out to him the next time you see him and ask him what he’s been up to. High school stereotypes wear down in college, so it shouldn’t matter who you were both friends with once upon a time. If you know you got along well, your common background (and hometown! long breaks and summer vacation are not issues here) might allow you to make things work. And if it doesn’t, he could probably introduce you to some of his cute new friends.
The guy you always see around campus.
You may have never formally met (no, that one time at a party when you were both wasted doesn’t count), but you see each other everywhere on campus. Well, it’s time to make those awkward passing glances more than just that. The next time you see him, offer a more approachable “hi,” and introduce yourself. Comment on the fact that you always see him in this area on campus (as long as you’re sure that he notices you too) – perhaps you’re taking similar classes. If he seems friendly and open, ask him to grab lunch one day so you can get to know each other better.
The older guy who doesn’t seem so old anymore.
When you were in high school and he was just, uh, waytoo old for you, it had to end before it even really got started. But voila! You’re a collegiette now, and way more mature than he ever thought you’d be. Suddenly, at age 20, five or six years don’t make for such an enormous gap when you run into each other at home (or stalk him on Facebook). Initiate conversation and show that you’d really love to reconnect. If he’s hesitant, assure him that it’s casual and you just want to catch up. You may not have caught up to him in age but maybe you’ve both entered stages in your lives that might allow you to be more compatible. Even with those five years still between you, your feelings may reignite, and you might take this opportunity to engage in a more mature relationship. But know that feelings may not resurface – even so, a connection of any nature with someone a little bit more grown-up than your college peers might be refreshing.
The guy who happens to be a few years younger than you.
If he’s over 18 (which he probably is), you can get over the whole jailbait thing. Younger guys can be appealing, especially when it seems like you’ve exhausted all other options. Each fall, there’s a new bunch of these cuties – and they’re not off-limits to elder collegiettes! Initiate conversation with him one night and pursue as necessary. If he’s bold enough, allow him to pursue you if that’s his style, but know that you might need to put in some work as well. Relationships know no age limits, so go for it – just be prepared to drive him from your off-campus apartment back to his dorm the next morning.
The guy you messed things up with.
When you were at the “reckless hook-up” stage in your college career, boys became just another notch on your belt (and they thought they were the only ones who wore belts. Ha!). Perhaps there was one situation with a guy where there may have been some feelings involved, but sure enough, they didn’t get addressed before you moved on to the next guy. It’s possible that you hurt his feelings, and even more likely that you damaged your own. If you messed things up in a situation that really could have worked, it’s time to make amends. Apologize if necessary, and try to get back to where you abruptly left off.
The guy who deserves another chance.
The same way you might have made a mistake in a previous relationship, this guy might feel that he made one himself. Whether he didn’t share his true feelings, thought that your feelings were too strong, or didn’t want to commit to anything beyond a casual hook-up, perhaps he took some time to reevaluate. He hurt you, but if he comes back with clearer intentions (good ones, preferably), a better attitude, and can now verbalize strong feelings (and maybe an apology, too) for you, it may be in your best interest to lay spite aside, and give him another shot.
The TA (from last semester).
All right, in theory, it’s a little naughty. But come on, TA’s are students just like us! Approaching him right after class may not be the best way to show that you’re interested. In fact, approaching him while you’re currently in the class that he’s a TA for can actually get him in trouble – only pursue once the semester has ended and all papers/tests have been graded. But thereafter, he’s fair game. If you see him on campus or out at night, start chatting. Though you once sat near each other in class, that’s not really the place to get to know someone. Suggest grabbing a cup of coffee one day – just steer clear of conversation that’s focused on Chem/Accounting/Marketing/Etc. that might make it seem like a one-on-one tutoring session.
The guy who invites you to date functions as a “friend.”
He thinks you’re fun enough to party with and respectable enough to bring somewhere as his date, so what are you waiting for? If you feel like it’s time that this relationship starts to drift away from “just friends” and more towards a potential hook-up (or more), make it happen. Clearly, you’re in good standing with one another and you enjoy spending time together. Tell him you’re interested in something more than a friendship, or make a bold move one night at a date party to make it crystal clear.
The guy across the hall.
This is easy access at its best – and chances are this guy is someone you’ve overlooked in the past. You basically live together, so you know each other well – good qualities and bad – so some of the things you’ve learned about each other may have kept you from wanting to get involved. But if things start to heat up once you start shopping for your latest guy crush, it’s certainly not unreasonable to start here, close to home. Brace yourself for anywhere from slight to major awkwardness if it ends up not working out, though. Dormcest can be dangerous because feelings might dissipate at any time and you might realize your intentions are very different, but you still come face-to-face with him every day. If nothing else, at least you’d be avoiding a walk of shame.
The guy from last summer.
Summer is only a few months away, so naturally, our minds drift straight back to that experience we had last summer with that guy we can’t really forget. If it ended on a good note (but kind of just because summer ended), it’s time to reconnect. Call him or send him a text to let him know you haven’t forgotten about him and that you’d love to catch up when you both return from school. If you rekindle your summer lovin’, consider taking it more seriously this time around – you gravitate toward each other no matter what, so make it count!
While it’s easy to get caught up in a social circle and limit yourself to a handful of guys, be careful not to get totally stuck there. When you’re tired of the same old, take another look at all the guys from your past – not just the ones you have sexual/relationship history with. Anyone you’ve ever met or interacted with can be fair game if you play your cards right. Take a good look, and don’t rule out those guys you pass by on campus by shoving your face in your phone – and certainly don’t ignore the hottie sitting behind you in class right now.