Dating a professor in graduate school

You must arrive at this decision independently for two reasons.

First, if someone hands you a problem, you won’t feel that it is yours, you won’t have that possessiveness that makes you want to work on it, defend it, fight for it, and make it come out beautifully. It is your choice of a field in which to carry out a life’s work.

Some of the greatest catastrophes in graduate education could have been avoided by a little intelligent foresight. Assume that your proposed research might not work, and that one of your faculty advisers might become unsupportive - or even hostile. Most probably do, but all are busy, which means in practice they cannot care about you because they don’t have the time. You had better decide early on that you are in charge of your program. Your major professor can advise you and protect you to a certain extent from bureaucratic and financial demons, but he should not tell you what to do. If you do not understand something, don’t feel bad - it’s not your fault, it’s the author’s. If some authority figure tells you that you aren’t accomplishing anything because you aren’t taking courses and you aren’t gathering data, tell him what you’re up to.

Herron said that college students in the customary age group -- from 18 to 21 years old -- are still forming their identities and that involving a student in a personal, sexual relationship would interfere with that process of emotional growth.

"But most of what we're talking about is not what falls under a strict definition of sexual harassment.

In fact, the more problematic ones are the ones that seem consensual.

Everyone brings up the case of the long-term, happy relationship, but that's a rarity.

What you are really trying to do is smoke out the professor who every semester picks up a student to have a relationship with -- the habitual offender," she said.

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