If you ever happen to walk past my table in the dining hall when I’m having a meal with my friends, you might hear a conversation that goes something like this:
“There goes Campus Crush 17! He’s wearing a good outfit today.”
“How many is that now?”
“Let me count.”
I am a serial crusher. One of the running jokes between my friends and I here at Ithaca College is the amount of campus crushes I have— and the fact that I number them and can keep track of them even if I don’t know their names (I usually don’t).
So far, the running count is 37 43 (the number tends to go up fairly quickly). A campus crush, as defined by me, is just any person on the college campus that you think is attractive. They don’t even have to be someone you see consistently on campus—although they tend to be— it could be someone you spot once and unfortunately never see again. I’ve literally formed a campus crush before because they sat with me and my friends at dinner, and I noticed that they were wearing a cool shirt for a band I like.
There’s also different categories of campus crushes, and for me, the intensity of a campus crush differs based on where I see them.
For example, a class crush is more intense than a dining hall one. A campus crush that is formed in one of your classes is consistent; meanwhile, it’s coincidence if you run into a campus crush from the dining hall. Other types of crushes, like the one you see on the way to class or run into while getting your mail, are more obscure and sometimes you might forget you’ve seen them before.
It should also be noted that a campus crush is supposed to be casual, fleeting even: something fun to get you through a busy or challenging day…Once you start to develop real feelings, it’s not a campus crush anymore. It’s just a regular crush.
In an attempt to find out more about the crush culture here at IC, I interviewed students across campus about their own attractions. They all opted to stay anonymous, but here is what they said:
“I have a few, I think. Definitely class crushes, at least. Having a crush in each class is kinda entertaining, you know? They get me through the boring lectures and this is a little embarrassing, but I’ll put in effort into dressing up for class if there’s someone that I think is cute there.” – a Sophomore TVDM major
“I didn’t really know they were called campus crushes, dude. Yeah, there’s a few girls I’ve seen that are cute. I don’t think I’d do anything about it, though.” – a Freshman IMC major
“I have one main one. I guess maybe you wouldn’t count it as just a casual campus crush anymore, but I met him in one of my Religious Studies classes. There was one time I was at the gym and I was filling up my water bottle and he came to say hi to me and my mind, like, froze and I kept filling up the bottle and eventually it overflowed, and I had to clean up water off the floor, and it was kinda embarrassing.” – a Freshman Politics major
“I’ve literally never heard the term campus crush before. I don’t know, I guess I have crushes, but I’m not really thinking about it that much.” – a Junior Computer Science major
“I love campus crushes. I love being delusional. Most of mine are from the dining hall. I like to think that all of them are secretly in love with me too.” – a Freshman Journalism major
“I have a few for sure. It’s fun! It’s fun to have crushes in general, like caring about eye contact or overthinking when they hold the door for you or something. It’s stupid, but it’s fun.” – a Sophomore Environmental Science major
“Literally don’t even ask me about this, oh my god! I’ve had multiple campus crushes and I’m a pretty extroverted person so I go and ask them for their Snap or their number, and I swear, I have been rejected every single time. I give up on campus crushes.” – a Sophomore Music Education major
“You have nothing on me. 43 is literally nothing. I’ve been here for seven and a half semesters, and I discover new people that are cute allll the time. It’s fun. You’re not crazy. You should just have fun with it because it’s never that serious.” – a Senior Psychology major
“Campus crushes are such a fun concept. There’s a few. I wonder if people look at me and decide I’m one of their campus crushes. That would be pretty cool.” -a Sophomore Biochemistry major
The idea of a campus crush seems to be pretty universal, and we haven’t even gotten into what true crushes and real feelings are like— a much more intense and scary topic. Whether you avoid your campus crushes at all costs or live to tell tales of embarrassing encounters with them, remember to not take it too seriously. Now is the time to experiment and figure out your likes and dislikes—if that comes in the form of 1000 campus crushes, then so be it!
Alefiya Presswala is a first-year journalism major who knows the fun of a campus crush. She can be reached at at [email protected].
Art by Julia Young.