To what do I owe the passing of my calculus, Economics 201, accounting and K201 classes, you may ask? Office hours. This beautiful and tragically overlooked collegiate gift is something you NEED to take advantage of…I don’t care how good at derivatives you are.
Stand Out in the Crowd!
Putting a face to a name (especially in lectures of 400+ kids) could be the determining factor of whether you have to retake a horrid course, write a shameful end-of-semester email begging to get your 89 bumped up to an A–, or flush $600 down the drain on an Ivy Tech online course of material you already cried over for a whole semester.
I remember the long nights of practice exam after practice exam, continually skipping over problems that looked like they were written in a different language, and walking to the test on exam day scared that this sole test would be the reason I wouldn’t graduate college. But, what saved my very average (but respectable) academic self? You guessed it, office hours. Professors knew me, saw my effort even just to stop by for a half hour and would often bump my grade, waive a bad score that was holding me down, or if they were really cool, throw me a few *obvious* clues at some of the answers on the exam.
Professors are people too!
Exam help aside, your professors are probably way cooler than you think. A lot of them have a lot of interesting things going on that they may or may not be talking about in class. Getting to know them outside of class could be your stepping stone towards an exciting internship, a fun organization on campus, or even a leg up for a future recommendation letter for that study abroad trip to Argentina. Who knows, but it can’t hurt!
Right now I’m actually working as a freelancer for one of my professors while learning her craft. Now she’s paying ME to learn! Who would’ve thought? A huge part of college is expanding your network, meeting new people, and gaining new perspectives and opportunities. I know it may seem like this is usually limited to that guy who JUULs in class and your RA, but no! There is knowledge everywhere, and what better way to discover than the people who teach and are experts in your class subject(s)? Not to mention it’s a great way to gain some confidence and conversational skills.
A professor’s unsolicited time and attention is something rare, and as a senior, I can tell you, something that only gets more rare. Next time you are stuck on a question, are desperate for an exam hint or just want to ask about that fun fact your professor put on their intro slide deck the first day of class, head to office hours! I can promise you won’t regret it.