September 22nd, 2008 admin
Office hours-that little block of time during which your professor is actually available to talk to you, one-on-one, about (almost) anything you want. Dropping in for just a few minutes could be the best use of your time this week (and next week… and the week after…). Here’s why…
- You Want an A. If you want to get an A in a course, attending your professor’s office hours can be one of the easiest ways to get there. Here you finally have the time (and smaller group or even one-on-one setting) to ask the professor questions. Discuss problems you are having in the class, get suggestions for how/where/what to study and hey, if you’re feeling brave, ask some questions about the upcoming test.
- You’re Applying for a Scholarship… or Med School. Guess what scholarships and med schools both want? Letters of recommendation. How can you get a good one if you’re sitting in a lecture-hall-sea of faces? Well, you probably can’t. Spending one-on-one time getting to know your professor will make him or her more likely to be comfortable writing you one of these letters at the end of the quarter or semester. They’ll know what kind of student you are, what kind of person you are, and hopefully feel a friendship towards you that makes them want to help.
- You Might Learn to Keep Your Eyes Open. If you’re having trouble staying awake in class, one sure-fire way to keep yourself alert is to make sure the professor knows your name. You’re not going to want to doze off if there’s potential that your grade could suffer-or you could get called out in the middle of class. Not the most fun way, maybe, but certainly effective!
- You’ll Meet New People. You may be attending office hours for other reasons (like to get in the running for an internship, for example) but you could be surprised how enjoyable they can be. You may find yourself enjoying your newfound friendship (or mentee-ship) with your professor, and if his/her office hours are popular, you’ll meet other like-minded people from similar courses. The conversations that break out during these more casual meetings can be a lot of fun.
- You… Um… Still Want an A. Let’s say you’ve been attending office hours for a few weeks, clearly making an effort in the class, and you mess up on a test. Office hours are the perfect opportunity to discuss this discrepancy with your professor-whether you’re hoping for a curved grade or just need help figuring out what went wrong, this is the time and place to discuss it.
Oh, and if you did something stupid like sleeping through a test, you’re more likely to get some kind of forgiveness from a professor you know than from one who’s never even noticed you in class.
Entry Filed under: academics