This past semester I had a student that I'm pretty sure had a crush or some other weird fixation on me, and considering she will be in my class again in the fall, I'm wondering how to handle things appropriately.

Wow, the lack of compassion down here in the comments is astounding. I'm a graduate instructor, and while I fully agree that Lily needs help beyond what OP can give her, and should seek mental health services, there is nothing wrong or shameful whatsoever about students and professors being friends. And how dare you all speak about this girl like she's same dangerous wild animal just because she's clearly immature (sounds autistic, tbh) and a little socially awkward.

OP, disregard these assholes who are trying to make either you or Lily feel guilty for conversing with one another. Obviously, there is a boundary not to be crossed, and you seem to have a good balance and grip on where that is, but personally, I see nothing wrong with you trying to mentor and protect her. I would have benefited so much from a prof like you during my undergrad, because I was a lot like Lily, very shy, social outcast, and in need of some adult affection. Thank you for doing what you can to care for her.

/r/Professors Thread