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Is dating/hanging out with undergrads who aren't freshman seen as weird/creepy


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I'm 22 and doing an MA in fall and was wondering as there is a good chance many students might be olde than me and I could have a hard time relating to them and since I'm closer in age to undergrads, I was curious, is it looked down upon to date/hang out with undergrads who aren't freshman? Is the lifestyle/maturity too different and will I seem like that old guy trying to hang on to his youth or is it normal?

 
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Sounds like you are looking for validation and support of your own conscripted answer, and not the perspectives and insights of those who already navigated this path....

I think its silly to compare a 22 year old fresh out of undergrad hanging out with people literally in their own age vs someone whose been out for like years and is clearly with folks younger and more

I am not ignoring, I'm just saying I have heard other reactions elsewhere and like more than 9 people have saids its fine/no one will care and in my personal experience, no one had an issue  Nah

Many people go to grad school straight out of undergrad, so I wouldn't assume that your classmates will be primarily non-traditional students. Is there any specific reason you think your program-mates will be older? There is no law that says undergrads and grad students can't fraternize, but people are often in different stages of their lives in grad school than undergrad. So there tends to be some separation, especially if you are TAing. 

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24 minutes ago, PsyDuck90 said:

Many people go to grad school straight out of undergrad, so I wouldn't assume that your classmates will be primarily non-traditional students. Is there any specific reason you think your program-mates will be older? There is no law that says undergrads and grad students can't fraternize, but people are often in different stages of their lives in grad school than undergrad. So there tends to be some separation, especially if you are TAing. 

That's what I heard

No I will not be TA ing

I mean, is it a huge life different stage when its someone straight out of undergrad and the age difference is like by a year?

So do grads and undergrads not fraternize? Is it uncommon?

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There's usually just less interaction. You very likely won't have any undergrads in your classes. Most grad students don't live on campus. There just aren't that many spaces in which grad students and undergrads co-mingle so it is less likely that the two groups will hang out. 

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Just now, PsyDuck90 said:

There's usually just less interaction. You very likely won't have any undergrads in your classes. Most grad students don't live on campus. There just aren't that many spaces in which grad students and undergrads co-mingle so it is less likely that the two groups will hang out. 

All undergrads live on campus? Thought it was only first year students

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Just now, PhantomThief said:

All undergrads live on campus? Thought it was only first year students

Not every undergrad, but significantly more than grad students. There are some who will get apartments in later years, but there are still many who live on campus all 4 years. If you don't live on campus, you are also going to be less likely to hang around if you aren't there for a specific responsibility like class or something, so if you aren't eating in the dining halls with undergrads or taking classes with them; then logistically you aren't really going to be interacting with/hanging out with them unless you purposefully seek out those interactions. There isn't anything inherently wrong with doing so, but it is just more likely that you will have to put in the extra effort to seek out and spend time with undergrads over people you will already be interacting with. 

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On 9/1/2020 at 10:35 PM, PhantomThief said:

I'm 22 and doing an MA in fall and was wondering as there is a good chance many students might be olde than me and I could have a hard time relating to them and since I'm closer in age to undergrads, I was curious, is it looked down upon to date/hang out with undergrads who aren't freshman? Is the lifestyle/maturity too different and will I seem like that old guy trying to hang on to his youth or is it normal?

 
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So I think the right answer is this:

1. If you can avoid it, avoid it. The reason why is because you don't want to be the grad student stuck in undergrad. It isn't good for your professional and academic development. I knew a 30 year old grad student who went to undergrad parties on the reg and her maturity regressed and wasn't able to socialize with adults professionally. Consequence - wasn't able to get a summer internship because she struck out on every single interview.

2. Love happens in strange and obscure ways. If you just happen to meet a super mature Senior or Junior (mature Junior - preferably of drinking age) that you fall in love with... that might be fine. That is where I would draw the red line.

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On 9/3/2020 at 10:42 AM, GradSchoolGrad said:

 

So I think the right answer is this:

1. If you can avoid it, avoid it. The reason why is because you don't want to be the grad student stuck in undergrad. It isn't good for your professional and academic development. I knew a 30 year old grad student who went to undergrad parties on the reg and her maturity regressed and wasn't able to socialize with adults professionally. Consequence - wasn't able to get a summer internship because she struck out on every single interview.

2. Love happens in strange and obscure ways. If you just happen to meet a super mature Senior or Junior (mature Junior - preferably of drinking age) that you fall in love with... that might be fine. That is where I would draw the red line.

A few things 

1. I mean, I am fresh out of undergrad and close in age to these people, especially junior/seniors and life stages. Having exclusive undergrad friends might be iffy but I don't see why I should not socialize with folks around my age

2. Again, close in age, I don't see an issue

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Just now, PhantomThief said:

A few things 

1. I mean, I am fresh out of undergrad and close in age to these people, especially junior/seniors and life stages. Having exclusive undergrad friends might be iffy but I don't see why I should not socialize with folks around my age

2. Again, close in age, I don't see an issue

My point is that it isn't about age... it is about phase in life. You finished undergrad and are in the next stage of life. The example of the 30 year old is to highlight how easy it is to backslide to undergrad scene. If you want keep on reliving undergrad, that is your choice. I'm just trying to highlight the risks of backsliding. 

I would say after college graduation, phase of life trumps age.

 

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1 minute ago, GradSchoolGrad said:

My point is that it isn't about age... it is about phase in life. You finished undergrad and are in the next stage of life. The example of the 30 year old is to highlight how easy it is to backslide to undergrad scene. If you want keep on reliving undergrad, that is your choice. I'm just trying to highlight the risks of backsliding. 

I would say after college graduation, phase of life trumps age.

 

I think its silly to compare a 22 year old fresh out of undergrad hanging out with people literally in their own age vs someone whose been out for like years and is clearly with folks younger and more immature

I mean, for someone fresh out,  life phase would not be an issue and dating undergrads who aren't sophomores is fine

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Just now, PhantomThief said:

I think its silly to compare a 22 year old fresh out of undergrad hanging out with people literally in their own age vs someone whose been out for like years and is clearly with folks younger and more immature

I mean, for someone fresh out,  life phase would not be an issue and dating undergrads who aren't sophomores is fine

It is one thing to hang out with people your own age (or even older) in undergrad (I mean there are some 24 year old 5th/6th year seniors out there) that are living the undergrad life style vs. hanging out with people graduated from college and on their own living there life however. There are people in the workforce that are 22 (sometimes even 21) that still figuring out the world, but are at least living the adult scene.

Part of the reason I say this is because among my friend groups, I know people (grad school and workforce) that struggled to leave college. They either hung out near their college and basically extended their college life while having a job/grad school or tried to live the college life away from their alma mata. Yes, this often meant dating college girls. Right now, as we are a bit older, these are the people are struggling more in life with relationships, career, and etc. because they didn't lean forward to grow up beyond the college world.

Like I said,  love means a lot, and for some maybe a new college relationship is just right. I'm just highlighting that there is risk. If you are just thinking about it in terms of math and a number, you are missing a lot of things that matter.

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I wouldn't consider it creepy, although I think you'll find yourself quickly outpacing undergrads in maturity (hopefully). I've been out of undergrad for 2 years (24 now), and I've matured A LOT in that time. I think I'd find a college senior painfully "green." I may be biased though: my undergrad institution had a big party scene, and everyone drank a lot. That's basically poison for personal growth.

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3 hours ago, GradSchoolGrad said:

It is one thing to hang out with people your own age (or even older) in undergrad (I mean there are some 24 year old 5th/6th year seniors out there) that are living the undergrad life style vs. hanging out with people graduated from college and on their own living there life however. There are people in the workforce that are 22 (sometimes even 21) that still figuring out the world, but are at least living the adult scene.

Part of the reason I say this is because among my friend groups, I know people (grad school and workforce) that struggled to leave college. They either hung out near their college and basically extended their college life while having a job/grad school or tried to live the college life away from their alma mata. Yes, this often meant dating college girls. Right now, as we are a bit older, these are the people are struggling more in life with relationships, career, and etc. because they didn't lean forward to grow up beyond the college world.

Like I said,  love means a lot, and for some maybe a new college relationship is just right. I'm just highlighting that there is risk. If you are just thinking about it in terms of math and a number, you are missing a lot of things that matter.

How old were these folks who did that

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2 hours ago, feralgrad said:

I wouldn't consider it creepy, although I think you'll find yourself quickly outpacing undergrads in maturity (hopefully). I've been out of undergrad for 2 years (24 now), and I've matured A LOT in that time. I think I'd find a college senior painfully "green." I may be biased though: my undergrad institution had a big party scene, and everyone drank a lot. That's basically poison for personal growth.

I mean as someone fresh out at 22, is maturity really so diff from folks like 1-3 years ynger

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3 hours ago, GradSchoolGrad said:

It is one thing to hang out with people your own age (or even older) in undergrad (I mean there are some 24 year old 5th/6th year seniors out there) that are living the undergrad life style vs. hanging out with people graduated from college and on their own living there life however. There are people in the workforce that are 22 (sometimes even 21) that still figuring out the world, but are at least living the adult scene.

Part of the reason I say this is because among my friend groups, I know people (grad school and workforce) that struggled to leave college. They either hung out near their college and basically extended their college life while having a job/grad school or tried to live the college life away from their alma mata. Yes, this often meant dating college girls. Right now, as we are a bit older, these are the people are struggling more in life with relationships, career, and etc. because they didn't lean forward to grow up beyond the college world.

Like I said,  love means a lot, and for some maybe a new college relationship is just right. I'm just highlighting that there is risk. If you are just thinking about it in terms of math and a number, you are missing a lot of things that matter.

How old are you?

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5 hours ago, PhantomThief said:

A few things 

1. I mean, I am fresh out of undergrad and close in age to these people, especially junior/seniors and life stages. Having exclusive undergrad friends might be iffy but I don't see why I should not socialize with folks around my age

2. Again, close in age, I don't see an issue

Sounds like you are looking for validation and support of your own conscripted answer, and not the perspectives and insights of those who already navigated this path....

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2 hours ago, PhantomThief said:

I mean as someone fresh out at 22, is maturity really so diff from folks like 1-3 years ynger

I mean you are at the first few months or so which you are probably feeling some college nostalgia (I remember too!). You probably started doing some post-college adulating but it hasn't sank in yet. From a longer term perspective, (like a year or so). You will rapidly be transitioning your life and going for fledged as an adult - even as a grad student. Yes you are still on campus, but your viable life horizon/environment Is beyond the campus gates now (or if you are in a small town or something), now extends to the entire adult community.

I paint this out because maturity (or lack there of) comes in two directions. 

1. Individual personality - and yes that can vary greatly, so hypothetically a 19 year old can be individually more mature than you.

2. Phase in life - this you cannot change. Bottom line is that however mature a 19 or 21 year old might, their incentives and interests are fundamentally different than yours. Simple things such as social expectations are notably different and create different norms. 

I am in my early 30s. So yes, I see the effects of people who dated undergrads as grad students in vice versa. I mean, I'm sure some great relationships come out of that, but among those I know anecdotally (included married folks), there definitely as a less than flattering narrative against the grad student. 

Even in their 30s, the people I know who dated grad students as undergrads talk about its as a conquest. Even those who are married, the power dynamic tilts towards the one who was an undergrad, and the dating narrative was that the undergrad was made the power play against the grad student. I am also amused by how many people I know that started in an undergrad - grad relationship, the former undergrad makes fun of the grad for having to sink to the undergrad pool to begin with.

 

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2 hours ago, Boolakanaka said:

Sounds like you are looking for validation and support of your own conscripted answer, and not the perspectives and insights of those who already navigated this path....

I mean tbh I don't see an issue with, just looking for reasoning as I think it can be done in a healthy way

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51 minutes ago, GradSchoolGrad said:

I mean you are at the first few months or so which you are probably feeling some college nostalgia (I remember too!). You probably started doing some post-college adulating but it hasn't sank in yet. From a longer term perspective, (like a year or so). You will rapidly be transitioning your life and going for fledged as an adult - even as a grad student. Yes you are still on campus, but your viable life horizon/environment Is beyond the campus gates now (or if you are in a small town or something), now extends to the entire adult community.

I paint this out because maturity (or lack there of) comes in two directions. 

1. Individual personality - and yes that can vary greatly, so hypothetically a 19 year old can be individually more mature than you.

2. Phase in life - this you cannot change. Bottom line is that however mature a 19 or 21 year old might, their incentives and interests are fundamentally different than yours. Simple things such as social expectations are notably different and create different norms. 

I am in my early 30s. So yes, I see the effects of people who dated undergrads as grad students in vice versa. I mean, I'm sure some great relationships come out of that, but among those I know anecdotally (included married folks), there definitely as a less than flattering narrative against the grad student. 

Even in their 30s, the people I know who dated grad students as undergrads talk about its as a conquest. Even those who are married, the power dynamic tilts towards the one who was an undergrad, and the dating narrative was that the undergrad was made the power play against the grad student. I am also amused by how many people I know that started in an undergrad - grad relationship, the former undergrad makes fun of the grad for having to sink to the undergrad pool to begin with.

 

How many folks do you know did this?

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So roughly 1st/2nd year graduate student and junior/senior - approximately.

It is natural to rationalize whatever situation you may be in / want to get involved in and look for differences. Ultimately, you make the decisions for your life.

However, just appreciate that if you seek to dip in the undergrad pool, the natural perception from others (myself in included if I heard about this randomly in public) rightly or wrongly is that the grad student went the easy route because the person didn't want to become an adult and the undergrad made the power play and took advantage of someone who had to dip down. Again, this isn't about age. This is about what position you are in and what social norms are relevant to you. Look, I don't know you, but so many times I hear people trying to justify positionally imbalanced relationships with age similarity (for example, 30 year old doctor frustrated that her 34 year old boyfriend still clean pools for a living and tries to fix him). It has value as a point a reference, but it is generally less relevant, and your case especially, less relevant. 

Edited by GradSchoolGrad
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12 hours ago, PhantomThief said:

I mean tbh I don't see an issue with, just looking for reasoning as I think it can be done in a healthy way

If you don’t see an issue: one, why ask? 
 

Two, you probably asked as there is some some internal suspicion, albeit small, that there is something janky about all this.
 

Three, while you have full personal autonomy to make such a decision, don’t think there might be some institutional and peer blowback.

 

Four, the fact you are fairly resistant to any of the counsel gracious provided, is telling.

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5 hours ago, GradSchoolGrad said:

So roughly 1st/2nd year graduate student and junior/senior - approximately.

It is natural to rationalize whatever situation you may be in / want to get involved in and look for differences. Ultimately, you make the decisions for your life.

However, just appreciate that if you seek to dip in the undergrad pool, the natural perception from others (myself in included if I heard about this randomly in public) rightly or wrongly is that the grad student went the easy route because the person didn't want to become an adult and the undergrad made the power play and took advantage of someone who had to dip down. Again, this isn't about age. This is about what position you are in and what social norms are relevant to you. Look, I don't know you, but so many times I hear people trying to justify positionally imbalanced relationships with age similarity (for example, 30 year old doctor frustrated that her 34 year old boyfriend still clean pools for a living and tries to fix him). It has value as a point a reference, but it is generally less relevant, and your case especially, less relevant. 

So 22/23 dating 21/22?

I mean, in my uni, my friend dated a master student, no one cared 

Wait, so the undergrad is seen as someone who took advantage?

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