The Importance of Office Hours
At some point or another, all students have been in a position where they go to class, and despite doing the readings and homework assignments, still feel completely clueless about the content gone over during class. Students in this position could choose to try and figure it out on their own, or they could take advantage of a resource that every student should have access to: office hours.
What are office hours?
Office hours are the times that your professors and teaching assistants set aside during the week when students can come in to ask questions about content that they need help with. Oftentimes, professors and students are actually REQUIRED to hold office hours, which shows how important the university you attend finds students getting help outside of class!
What are the benefits of office hours?
Office hours have saved many grades in the past. A lot of students go into college with the mentality that they can handle doing the workload completely on their own and that they do not need help. While it is a good idea to try and figure out everything you can on your own in a class, there is absolutely no shame in asking for help. Remember, it is the job of your professors and TAs to help you get through your courses, so students should take advantage of this resource! Sometimes, going to office hours can even help boost your grades. Sometimes, if you are on the cusp of a letter grade and are hoping for a grade boost, you can go to office hours to show your professor extra commitment to their class.
When would you need to go to office hours?
Most students choose to go to office hours when there is a topic in class that doesn’t make sense, there is a homework problem they cannot finish on their own, or they want advice or tips about how to study for an exam. Sometimes before exams, TAs or professors will hold exam review sessions during their office hours, so it is a great opportunity to ask last minute questions to ensure success on an exam.
Should I go to office hours even if I don’t have any questions?
Of course! Office hours are not only an opportunity to ask content questions, but they are also great places to listen to other people’s questions and learn more about the content that way. Also, if you are potentially interested in a professor’s career (maybe because you want to do research with them in the future), office hours are a great way to learn more about them and the kind of work they do. Part of college is building relationships with people who work in the field you want your career to be in, so office hours are a great opportunity to get to know some professionals and network.