Gay on Campus: I Love Him, I Work With Him

It’s fair to say the work never ends in college. Even when you’re done with class at 1 p.m., there’s studying, exam crunching, on-campus jobs and drinking deeds to get done.

My life is no exception—with 18 credit hours and three jobs, I don’t really have time to sleep. And that’s a good thing, because two of my jobs require rather…erm, liberal, time scales.

As a resident mentor, I am on call essentially 24/7. As a result, my 10 fellow RMs work these crazy hours with me. Late nights working the front desk of residence halls, early mornings putting together bulletin boards, alcohol busts at 4 a.m.—it’s a tiring job, and one that I love.

But why do I love it, you ask? Oh…just this insanely adorable co-RM who I hang out with 24/7.

It’s a tired concept, but surprisingly more complicated in college due to students’ inverted schedules: Crushing on a co-worker. While there are boundaries in a 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. job—they’re called cubicles—it’s difficult working alongside someone you like in college. It’s late, you’re tired and you think that casual nudge is an indication he likes you. Those 3 a.m. runs to McDonald’s are filled with such flirtatious banter, right?

Truthfully, I don’t know. I have no idea.

But let’s expand on this—say this co-worker does like me (or you!) back? What is the proper protocol? Do you go for it and risk a super awkward work environment—and mine is where I live, mind you—or do you play it safe and save the romance for your dreams?

I wrote a column earlier about crushing on a friend, but I think a co-worker is a whole different ballgame. With friendships, the issues that can arise are all, for the most part, fluffy. If love with a co-worker goes wrong, you might be facing a stressful work situation, animosity from the staff and reprimanding from your boss. Yikes!

So, is there a right and wrong answer to this? Meh. On the one hand, my parents met at work and they’ve been happily married for 21 years. But…I have a friend who was fired for dating his co-worker.

If you are in college—and have a situation similar to mine—it might be best to cool it with the co-worker romance. Especially if you work—and live!—in close quarters, it could get pretty messy.

In terms of my situation, I think I’m going to lie low for now. The disgusting phrase “don’t s**t where you eat” literally rings true for me.

But how about you? Have you ever crushed on a co-worker? Did it end in flames of passion or destruction? Share your thoughts below.