How to Use Your Professors’ Office Hours
Office hours are one of the most valuable academic resources available to you in college, and one of the most overlooked! Most professors set aside a few hours a week to be available to students. They are usually willing to talk about anything with their students, whether it be how a student is doing in their class or to discuss an upcoming assignment. Here are some tips to utilizing office hours.
- Schedule appointments beforehand. This streamlines the whole process and can ensure that your professor will be able to meet with you during their office hours – a quick e-mail does the trick. There is nothing more disappointing than showing up to a professor’s office just to find out that there is already a line of students waiting to discuss the paper that everyone’s been waiting to write at the last minute. Personally, I find it much easier to schedule a set time with my professors during their office hours so that I don’t have to worry about something like that happening.
- Have an idea of what you want to discuss. Both you and your professor only have 24 hours in a day, and that time is valuable! Make sure that you already know what you want to talk to your professor about so that they have an idea of what you need help with or why you’re there. If it’s your first time going to that professor’s office hours, just remember that there’s nothing to be nervous about and your professor is there to help you.
- Remember that TA’s are there as well. Although most professors (especially at small colleges like Wesleyan) are extremely nice and are willing to help you with almost anything, your TA’s may be easier to get in touch with and definitely have more flexible hours. If you’re struggling with, for example, a problem set for a math or econ class, it’s probably best to seek help from a TA first and then your professor if you need additional help.
Office hours are one of the best ways to make connections with your professors out of class and I am really glad that I have used them during my time at Wes. Hopefully you find these tips useful and start to use this precious resource more often! If you need more ideas of how you can use office hours, check out the following links: