You've signed up for your courses, you've doubled your tuition on textbooks, and you've situated yourself in your brand new dorm (wall decals and all). What Bed Bath & Beyond can't buy you and what your required reading won't prepare you for is how you will soon be starring in a number of quasi-romantic narratives with settings from the laundry room to the lecture hall. If you were wise enough to break off your high school relationship — and even if you weren't — here is a list of the crushes you'll have your freshman year of college.
There's a big difference between high school boys and college boys. For starters, the guys look more like men, and less like boys. Second, while you'll still probably wish every day of undergrad that they'll just grow up already, college guys are in a much better place in life than they were two or three years ago, and they're right on the cusp of actual adulthood where sh*t gets real, real fast. College is a cushy pseudo-microcosm of the real world where everyone is your age, and not yet plagued by the soul-crushing realities of the real world and things like student loans, taxes, and week-ruining hangovers. However you choose to navigate your four-year plan, keep in mind — a freshman calculus computation suggests that — just given the size of the student body, you'll eventually find Mr. Right. In the meantime, there are countless options to explore, and crushes to be had.
1. The Guy Down The Hall
He held the door open for you on move-in day, and this hallmate heartthrob hasn't left your mind since. We can all admit it's probably just the pure proximity of this guy, and subsequent frequency of your interactions, that make him a beckoning blip on your radar. (The fact that half the time you see him he's half-naked in a towel maneuvering in his muscly glory from the bathroom to his dorm room doesn't hurt either.) Each semester, you hope your class schedule coordinates with his so your chances of face-time (the real world version) in the hall between classes are increased. In concordance with Murphy's Law (which was not on your last physics exam), you only bump into him on days when you've overslept after pulling all-nighters, and your unmade tired face prompts him to ask if you're sick. You decide to look extra perky and full of health the next time you two "happen to be" doing laundry at the same time. You also decide to find yourself a better, more hygienic, love interest, because going six weeks between laundry sessions is cramping your style.
2. The Senior
Time slows down, and classic rock guitar riffs crescendo when this guy walks across the green. He owns it. He makes it greener. He's a senior. Survivor of three more years of college than you, he's a downright scholar — learned, experienced, the most professional pre-professional. Sophomore guys, who look like burly men compared to the boys you just left behind in high school, look like infantile amateurs in his presence. This senior is the collegiate poster-child, at the peak of his undergraduate potential, with the five o'clock shadow to match, and still unburdened by the unsightly realities of adulthood. He's found the perfect homework/life balance, crushing midterms by day, and cans of Natty Light by night.
3. The TA
This classroom crush will have you racking up the extra credit, and doing overtime in office hours. You take bets with your fellow smitten classmates about how old he is, and hope you'll eventually swipe his way on Tinder. You triple-check your writing assignments, and even have your roommate do a once-over to make sure you have no Freudian slips of titillating typos like "thong" for "thing," or "sex" for "six."
4. The Mysterious Guy At The Back Of The Class
You try not to notice him, but you swear you can feel his enigmatic eyes staring at the back of your head while you're typing lecture notes you'll never read again. This dark, brooding, international relations man of mystery has you all hot and bothered before you even take your seat in Global Think Tanks, Policy Networks, & Governance. He never speaks, but you know he's already mastered everything the professor is spilling out. He sits there with a nonchalant cool as if he's already audited the class. Twice. You raise your hand just so he can hear your voice, and you hope he thinks your answers are brilliant. He always leaves class before you can stage a run-in, but you know you'll maneuver your way into his study group before the semester's over.
5. The All-Star
It's easy to want what everybody else wants. In college, this means the iconic university trophy-winner and indisputable Big Man On Campus. Everyone knows his name, and his chiseled quarterback frame. You've only ever seen him in his uniform or sweats, but you know he'd kill it in a suit. Or even in jeans. (Why is he always wearing sweats?) The All-Star Crush is a low-effort, piece-of-cake crush. Your collegiate world is confettied with his celestial presence — no effort need be expended on your part. He frequently headlines the sports section of the university paper, all articles reading like fan fiction. You took two team posters at homecoming so you could make a cut-out doll.
6. The Frat Star
His mere presence makes you feel like you're in a movie and playing out the ultimate college dream. He's mastered couldn't-care-less cool, and has a Dionysian ability to keep the keg flowing and become everyone's best friend. And by everyone, I mean every girl. His mixology skills exceed that of most 19 year olds, but are still limited to screwdrivers and jungle juice. The Frat-Star Crush is an evanescent infatuation that will dissipate as soon as you've played guest at a few parties, and have learned to distinguish between confidence and douchebaggery.
7. The Young Professor
Nothing's sexier than a mature man who's smart as hell, accomplished, has his sh*t together, and knows how to wear a tailored suit. This guy is the man you want to marry... it's just that he's already married, so you have to hope that maybe one of the hundred dudes currently nodding off in your lecture hall reaches a comparable level of development a decade or two from now. Your professor goes on entrancing tangents about obscure academic studies, and uses words you've never heard before (somebody hasn't been doing the readings). Half the class collectively swoons when he delivers anecdotes about taking his wife to the Met to see the latest exhibition on Stieglitz, Steichen, and Strand.
8. The Hot Guy Who's Always At The Gym When You're At The Gym
Gym excursions are exasperating enough without a hot guy prowling around in close proximity to your hip abductions. You keep your eye on his reflection in the mirror, but turn away too quickly when he catches you looking. So you look back again but, crap! — he's still looking, so you look away once more, and then at the floor, and then at your iPhone, and then spend the next five minutes stretching your left calf and creating a new Spotify playlist.
9. The Guy In The Long-Distance Relationship With His Girlfriend From Back Home
The best ones are always taken. He looks like the kind of guy your mom always wanted you to date, but every time she visits you, you're going to have to disappoint. He's still not your boyfriend, because he's still with the girl he's been dating since he was 14. And the years of partnership practice show. He treats you like you're related to him, and he never looks too long at any girl. In fact, there's an almost vacant stare in his eyes when speaking to the opposite sex, as if his vision is glazed over by daydreams of his only love. His fidelity is so squeaky clean, it's nauseating.
10. Your Friend
Every Sally meets her Harry at some point in her life, and oftentimes life offers up a few. He's always there for you, and has the best "guy advice," even when it appears that a wave of seasickness takes over his face when you start detailing hookups. You see him more as a brother than boyfriend material, and are constantly reinforcing this by suggesting you set him up with one of your girlfriends. When you bring him up in conversation with others, you always verbally asterisk his introduction with, "we're just friends." You've always suspected he harbored some puppy love for you, but what you won't admit is you have feelings too.
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