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


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6 hours ago, PhantomThief said:

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?

1. By virtue of calling it uni and your lack of familiarity with the likely ages of the US/CAN undergraduate system suggest that you are not a US/Canadian graduate student, or at least not from the US/Canada. Please give us more context on what is going on because it feels like you just completely not understanding our feedback with your aggressive push-back and your focus on age. I can't comment about your friend until I know more about your context.

2. Yes, in the US/CAN cases that I know of, the undergrad was seen as someone who took advantage of the situation and the grad student was someone dipping down. Just to confirm.

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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

48 minutes ago, GradSchoolGrad said:

1. By virtue of calling it uni and your lack of familiarity with the likely ages of the US/CAN undergraduate system suggest that you are not a US/Canadian graduate student, or at least not from the US/Canada. Please give us more context on what is going on because it feels like you just completely not understanding our feedback with your aggressive push-back and your focus on age. I can't comment about your friend until I know more about your context.

2. Yes, in the US/CAN cases that I know of, the undergrad was seen as someone who took advantage of the situation and the grad student was someone dipping down. Just to confirm.

Oh didn't mean to seem aggressive, just voicing my thoughts.

Uni, I meant undergrad and I am in Canada. My friend was a 4th year, 22 and she was 24. It didn't seem like he was taking advantage of her or she was dipping down, she socialized with everyone fine

2. Is it the 3 cases you mentioned before/know of involved in Canada and the U.S?

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7 hours ago, PhantomThief said:

Oh didn't mean to seem aggressive, just voicing my thoughts.

Uni, I meant undergrad and I am in Canada. My friend was a 4th year, 22 and she was 24. It didn't seem like he was taking advantage of her or she was dipping down, she socialized with everyone fine

2. Is it the 3 cases you mentioned before/know of involved in Canada and the U.S?

Okay, not to be mean or anything, but by not explaining that you were in Canada it was rather unhelpful for everyone to give you feedback. I'm sure it is unintentional, but there is a reason why when most people post, they at least highlight the country in question they are referring to outside of the US, or else otherwise most people think general US (since the vast majority people here are referring to US schools). 

So quick takeaways:

1. Even in Canada, I wouldn't recommend it, but the strength of my case does weaken decently compared to the US. I still think generally speaking, there is a lot to be said about moving forward in your outlook rather than dipping back.

The reason why I acknowledge that my case weakens is that in Canada, the higher education is less focused on defined community social constructs than in the US (though some schools have been trying to Americanfy). This means that you have a less structured undergraduate community (as in really confined to the undergrad community) filled with robust Greek life + defined University wide student life events and structured programming + dependency on campus logistics + lots and lots of campus traditions. I actually view this as a general strength of the US undergraduate system over other countries because it builds in campus wide connectivity and develops diverse social experiences. Granted there are some issues, but that is an endless conversation for another time. However, what this means for us, is that the in my opinion, the average Canadian undergraduate might be missing out on all these experiences, but does mature faster at "Uni" because the person is forced to live more independently in building their own social structures, given how relatively detached campus life is. 

Just some background on me, I lived in both Canada and the US and although I went to schooling in the US, I am very familiar with the Canadian university system and culture and how it is different. 

2. It would have also been helpful, if you explained your perspective about looking at it from an undergrad angle previously.

Yes, from an undergrad perspective, there is usually nothing wrong with an undergrad dating a grad as long as they are close in age. Even in the US, the undergrad would be generally as getting social props to have nabbed a grad student the same way someone would feel about a freshman dating as senior (generally speaking). 

However, on the grad student side, others can and will look on with some level of discomfort... or at least curiosity. Rightfully or wrongfully, there will be a lot of suspicions about dipping down + the undergrad taking advantage of the grad. Just imagine, if there was grad program picnic that allowed +1s and someone brought there undergrad boyfriend and girlfriend. There would be a general mismatch in terms of range of conversation. This will especially be true if you go to grad program with a lot of people that are not straight from undergrad. 

At my grad program, we had 2 situations where one of my fellow grad students brought an undergrad date to grad social functions. In one case the age difference was 9 years. The other was 2. Either way, by in large we felt really annoyed because we had to suffer through socializing with an undergrad (who had limited awareness of grad school/adult life) more keen to talk about spring break than anything we cared about. Interestingly, the most critical people were those straight from undergrad. Their perspective was that they couldn't believe their classmates were squandering the opportunities with the grad school experience to dip back into the undergrad scene. 

Additionally, the two undergrad dating grad students to this day are remembered for dating an undergrad as one of their primary identifiers. I actually had a phone call with a grad school friend a few weeks ago where we talked about so so, the undergrad dater. This is not to sound mean, but this is just how people naturally react. At the end of the day, love is love, but this is a reality you need be aware of.

Now in all fairness, I am speaking more from the context of US grad programs, which also are more socially structured than Canadian ones (generally speaking). Additionally, the situations I speak of  involve Americans and Canadians, but only those at US schools. However, the points are still relevant, but they may be more nuanced.

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10 hours ago, desertwoman said:

I'm a nontraditional age applicant, and while there might be a few more nontraditional age students in grad. school compared to undergrad., most students are going to be traditional age. So you probably won't have a problem meeting students your age in your program; however, it wouldn't be "weird" for you to date/hang out with undergrads either since you wouldn't be much older than them.  

 

Interestingly, one of the more prevalent cases of undergrad dating I saw were non-traditional age applicants trying to relive their college years from 5 to 7 years ago. Most straight from undergrad grad students actually sought to avoid dating undergrads because they were so done with undergrad life. The exception is pre-existing relationship. For example, a girl from high school that you dated but now you are in grad school at her University and she is a Senior. 

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I think it is totally normal to have loved your undergrad experience and want it to continue. However, being a grad student is different because it’s viewed as the start of ones professional career - not an extension of being a student. Dating an undergrad is just inappropriate, even if the age is the same. You’ll be in a different life place. And if you can’t see that? Maybe the issue isn’t actually about dating an undergrad, but rather about your own intentions and aspirations as a grad student. 

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6 hours ago, adjunctlifer said:

I think it is totally normal to have loved your undergrad experience and want it to continue. However, being a grad student is different because it’s viewed as the start of ones professional career - not an extension of being a student. Dating an undergrad is just inappropriate, even if the age is the same. You’ll be in a different life place. And if you can’t see that? Maybe the issue isn’t actually about dating an undergrad, but rather about your own intentions and aspirations as a grad student. 

The thing is, I have seen a lot of people say its normal though and fine and not inappropiate

So is it as bad as a prof dating a undergrad?

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9 hours ago, GradSchoolGrad said:

Okay, not to be mean or anything, but by not explaining that you were in Canada it was rather unhelpful for everyone to give you feedback. I'm sure it is unintentional, but there is a reason why when most people post, they at least highlight the country in question they are referring to outside of the US, or else otherwise most people think general US (since the vast majority people here are referring to US schools). 

So quick takeaways:

1. Even in Canada, I wouldn't recommend it, but the strength of my case does weaken decently compared to the US. I still think generally speaking, there is a lot to be said about moving forward in your outlook rather than dipping back.

The reason why I acknowledge that my case weakens is that in Canada, the higher education is less focused on defined community social constructs than in the US (though some schools have been trying to Americanfy). This means that you have a less structured undergraduate community (as in really confined to the undergrad community) filled with robust Greek life + defined University wide student life events and structured programming + dependency on campus logistics + lots and lots of campus traditions. I actually view this as a general strength of the US undergraduate system over other countries because it builds in campus wide connectivity and develops diverse social experiences. Granted there are some issues, but that is an endless conversation for another time. However, what this means for us, is that the in my opinion, the average Canadian undergraduate might be missing out on all these experiences, but does mature faster at "Uni" because the person is forced to live more independently in building their own social structures, given how relatively detached campus life is. 

Just some background on me, I lived in both Canada and the US and although I went to schooling in the US, I am very familiar with the Canadian university system and culture and how it is different. 

2. It would have also been helpful, if you explained your perspective about looking at it from an undergrad angle previously.

Yes, from an undergrad perspective, there is usually nothing wrong with an undergrad dating a grad as long as they are close in age. Even in the US, the undergrad would be generally as getting social props to have nabbed a grad student the same way someone would feel about a freshman dating as senior (generally speaking). 

However, on the grad student side, others can and will look on with some level of discomfort... or at least curiosity. Rightfully or wrongfully, there will be a lot of suspicions about dipping down + the undergrad taking advantage of the grad. Just imagine, if there was grad program picnic that allowed +1s and someone brought there undergrad boyfriend and girlfriend. There would be a general mismatch in terms of range of conversation. This will especially be true if you go to grad program with a lot of people that are not straight from undergrad. 

At my grad program, we had 2 situations where one of my fellow grad students brought an undergrad date to grad social functions. In one case the age difference was 9 years. The other was 2. Either way, by in large we felt really annoyed because we had to suffer through socializing with an undergrad (who had limited awareness of grad school/adult life) more keen to talk about spring break than anything we cared about. Interestingly, the most critical people were those straight from undergrad. Their perspective was that they couldn't believe their classmates were squandering the opportunities with the grad school experience to dip back into the undergrad scene. 

Additionally, the two undergrad dating grad students to this day are remembered for dating an undergrad as one of their primary identifiers. I actually had a phone call with a grad school friend a few weeks ago where we talked about so so, the undergrad dater. This is not to sound mean, but this is just how people naturally react. At the end of the day, love is love, but this is a reality you need be aware of.

Now in all fairness, I am speaking more from the context of US grad programs, which also are more socially structured than Canadian ones (generally speaking). Additionally, the situations I speak of  involve Americans and Canadians, but only those at US schools. However, the points are still relevant, but they may be more nuanced.

I see but as I mentioned, I have seen many folks also say its fine and no one sees the undergrad as taking advantage or the grad as dipping down

and how many straight from undergrad nabbed them

Edited by PhantomThief
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3 hours ago, PhantomThief said:

The thing is, I have seen a lot of people say its normal though and fine and not inappropiate

So is it as bad as a prof dating a undergrad?

Now, you are being provocative for the sake of being provocative, and actively losing any sense of being serious on this board. Of course it’s not the same, there are entire systems of HR as well as academic integrity that institutionally prohibit such practice.

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So based on the fact that you're ignoring or brushing off like 8 people telling you the same thing, I'm wondering if you've already met an undergrad you want to date. If that's the case, no one here can stop you from doing anything. But these are the likely reactions from your cohort, so make peace with that now.

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16 minutes ago, feralgrad said:

So based on the fact that you're ignoring or brushing off like 8 people telling you the same thing, I'm wondering if you've already met an undergrad you want to date. If that's the case, no one here can stop you from doing anything. But these are the likely reactions from your cohort, so make peace with that now.

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 haven't met anyone, just wondering if I should consider it

It's only been 4 people as well

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59 minutes ago, Boolakanaka said:

Now, you are being provocative for the sake of being provocative, and actively losing any sense of being serious on this board. Of course it’s not the same, there are entire systems of HR as well as academic integrity that institutionally prohibit such practice.

I mean you mentioned it was inappropiate in your response though

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5 hours ago, PhantomThief said:

I see but as I mentioned, I have seen many folks also say its fine and no one sees the undergrad as taking advantage or the grad as dipping down

and how many straight from undergrad nabbed them

Well then, you don't seem to care about what we say so feel free to listen to your "many folks". Please stop wasting our time unless you want to have an intelligent conversation about this. I know Canada has great "Uni's", so as Master's student, you should know how to instead dropping pointless one liners. 

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3 hours ago, GradSchoolGrad said:

Well then, you don't seem to care about what we say so feel free to listen to your "many folks". Please stop wasting our time unless you want to have an intelligent conversation about this. I know Canada has great "Uni's", so as Master's student, you should know how to instead dropping pointless one liners. 

I'm weighing the options and putting answers against each other

also, what is wrong with the term unis

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3 hours ago, PhantomThief said:

I'm weighing the options and putting answers against each other

also, what is wrong with the term unis

There is nothing wrong with the term “Unis”. No one says it in the US and has mixed usage in Canada. That is why it was a dead giveaway that you at least not from the US and most likely in a larger Canadian University.

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5 hours ago, PhantomThief said:

In late 30s, you're too old for undergrad students, stick with grad students 

Clearly, you didn't read what the person spent time writing to make a point, and just saw one thing and reacted to it. That is rude. As a fellow Canadian, I expect better. 

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Not sure if this was mentioned, but another point is that as a grad student, you may at some point hold a position of power over the undergraduate or people in their social circle whom you both associate with. For example if you were TAing, or managing a lab where the undergrad or people in her/his social circle were either your students or research assistants. An imbalanced relationship in this context may blur the lines of consent.

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1 minute ago, dr. bubbles said:

Not sure if this was mentioned, but another point is that as a grad student, you may at some point hold a position of power over the undergraduate or people in their social circle whom you both associate with. For example if you were TAing, or managing a lab where the undergrad or people in her/his social circle were either your students or research assistants. An imbalanced relationship in this context may blur the lines of consent.

Oh yeah, power difference is wrong

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I'm from China and have been in the US for 6 years (college, gap year, now grad school). I've seen a similar thread on TGC and I actually posted a thread on my personal FB to get more responses from my American friends. It was quite a shocker to me how dating people of a different age group/life phase is frowned upon in the US. I personally see nothing wrong (meaning, neither morally wrong nor instinctively "creepy/gross") with socializing with or dating someone much younger/older, and tbh if I see a couple like that my first reaction would be "it's is so sweet and inspiring that they're working through their differences to be together".

I also feel that Americans think of college kids as "kids" way more than what I'm used to; I pretty much see everyone in higher education as a proper adult. Any relationship can be abusive, and a significant gap in a number of things (maturity, experience with dating, socioeconomic status) could make it more prone to turning bad, but if you're someone who will watch out for these things and are not in it to take advantage or be taken advantage of, then I wouldn't let any of those things ruin a good relationship. If you like fencing and the fencing club takes anyone from undergrad to faculty, I don't see why you can't go to the end-of-the-year BBQ just because there might be undergrads there. 

I do agree with some others on this thread that you'd need to consider (1) if you might ever hold unfair influence over someone due to academic/professional roles, and (2) how others may look at you in general. It doesn't necessarily mean you need to change how you pursue relationships, but rather to understand how it impacts how others see you.

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As others mentioned, I don't believe it's the inherit act of dating an undergrad that's "wrong," and depending on the school, no one will blink an eye. I think it's about compatibility of two people. Of course, in grad school you're considered more mature, and if you're going out to frat parties every weekend with your undergrad girlfriend, people will probably look down on you, but that's more about going to frat parties every weekend -- your maturity.

Additionally, you're more likely to connect with people in your environment since you'll spend A LOT of time with them. In grad school, I had two GAships, meaning I worked 20 hours/week on top of classes. My GAships were teaching and working in the university's writing center. Most of the hours for "teaching" were spent in the group office with 20-30 other people. That's just where we hung out basically any time we were on campus. Because we were around each other, had classes together, and were going through the same things, we became friends. It was mostly straight women and gay men, so there were no relationships... I probably had my best friendships in the UWC, though, and they were with undergrads. The undergrads working at the UWC often wanted to go to grad school or were nontraditional students. Therefore, they felt more "on-level" and we hung out at work and beyond. I don't think anyone would have blinked if a grad student dated one of them.

All in all, as long as you're compatible with someone, I don't think it's a big deal to date a junior or sophomore. Someone 18-20 is a little different since they're practically still children and figuring out how to be adults, what to do with themselves, etc. (at least in the US). Although the age difference doesn't seem like a lot, it's like a 20-year-old dating a 16-year-old: weird.

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