Office hours are designated hours professors/sessional lecturers holds weekly, in which you can go and talk to them about a variety of topics without making an appointment. Most professors list their office hours in the syllabus of their course, so check that out if you don’t know your professors’ office hours.
Going to office hours was something that intimidated me initially, but now I do it a lot, and find it’s an essential part of getting engaged in any class I’m taking. So, why do I love visiting profs in office hours?
Get help when you need it.
Getting the help you need in classes is the most obvious reason to go to office hours, but I think it’s really important. It’s pretty common for me to not understand something in lecture, and ignore it, assuming I’ll figure it out later. However, ignoring things you don’t understand quickly gets overwhelming, as many concepts taught in classes are cumulative and only get harder.
Taking the step to go to office hours and clarify concepts will help you so much in the long-run, as you’ll be able to really understand what’s going on in a class. Asking a professor about a specific assignment, like an essay, is also very helpful to clarify exactly what they want from you. There have been so many times where I would have gotten a bad mark on an assignment if I hadn’t clarified the instructions with my professors in office hours!
Going to office hours helps you get to know your professors, which is a really great benefit. Office hours are a good time to ask your professors about what they’re researching, or explain personal connections and thoughts you have related to the class. Building more personal relationships with professors always helps motivate me to do well in class, and can be a great way to get more help on assignments.
Building relationships with professors is also helpful because in the future, you may need references for jobs or grad schools. I find that professors can tell if you’re only trying to form a relationship with them for the purpose of a reference letter, so creating a relationship before you need anything specific from a professor is a great way to go.
Engage in the class more.
Going to office hours regularly is also the best way to stay on top of your work! If I know I’m going to office hours that week, I’ll do readings more critically, thinking about questions as I read. I’ll also make sure that all my work is completed for that week, so I can fully engage with the professor and ask them as many questions as possible.
Do you enjoy going to office hours? Let me know why in the comments below!