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5 Unexpected Reasons to Become a Tutor in College

Tutoring other college students teaches you valuable skills and a lot about yourself and others. Find out all the great reasons you should become one here!

A good way to figure out whether you’re truly learning in college is to teach other people—to become a tutor. College tutors are like professors except more casual, personal, and hands-on. As a student, you can tutor your peers in a subject that you’re knowledgeable and excited about. If you’re thinking about becoming a tutor in college, consider what skills you have in your pocket and which ones you could pick up. These five unexpected benefits may make it easier for you to decide.

1. It teaches you diverse perspectives

College classes are a great opportunity to expand your intellectual horizons. But tutors get to do this outside the classroom as well. As a tutor, you can meet people with diverse cultural backgrounds, skills, and academic interests. Tutors must have superior critical-thinking abilities to see the unique ways people think and how different people approach education differently. A tutor’s job is to teach their student not just what to think but how to think. Your job is to see how your student conceptualizes information and work with them on elevating their understanding. Everyone you tutor won’t think the same way. As you discover different learning styles, you can tailor your teaching methods to satisfy the diverse needs of your students. Exposure to diverse perspectives will make you a better student as well.

Related: 3 Benefits of Tutoring, Plus Tips to Make the Most of It

2. You’ll make meaningful connections

In college, you’ll make many meaningful connections with your peers. Tutoring is a built-in community where peer collaboration is the foundation of success. As you and your students work together toward a common goal or to solve a problem, you can mutually grow. To do that, you need to meet them where they are and understand that your connection is based on trust. To build a real connection with them, you should be reliable so that they feel supported through their academic struggles. You'll know you’ve built a good connection if your student continues to reach out for help. You may even build lasting friendships beyond just personalized study.

3. It’s personally and professionally rewarding

Being a tutor takes time and dedication. After devoting countless hours of your free time, you might even get a monetary reward. But the real reward is watching your student have those “aha” moments. This will give you a sense of fulfillment knowing you’re helping others overcome obstacles in their educational journey. You’ll feel accomplished knowing you got them halfway to success and watched them cross the finish line. When you collaborate and put your minds together, both parties benefit. On non-competitive college campuses, this synergistic spirit of cooperation is pretty common. People form study groups and ask their peers for guidance all the time, even before consulting the professor. In a sense, everyone tutors each other. The feeling of accomplishment comes when you realize that, as a tutor, you’re not just helping yourself—you’re helping others.

Related: 7 Savvy Habits to Help You Become a Highly Effective Student

4. You’ll become a better communicator

Have you ever had a professor who didn’t properly explain the material and you left the lecture just as confused as when you entered it, if not more? It’s not a good feeling. It’s your responsibility as a tutor to ensure your pupils don’t feel this way. One of the hardest things about tutoring is getting someone to understand where they went wrong and how to improve. Tutors need to be able to verbally communicate complex concepts clearly and efficiently. Recognize that what’s simple for you might be challenging for your student. You need to be patient and willing to reiterate information, especially if it’s important. Ask clarifying questions to ensure they understand. Communication is a two-way street, so encourage your students to speak up as much as you. With practice, your communication skills will improve.

5. You’ll grow as a person

While tutors are supposed to help their students brush up on their academic skills, they’re bound to gain some skills of their own along the way. By taking on responsibilities to organize study sessions and give support, you’ll grow as a leader. You’ll take the lead in making sure each session is productive and efficient. You’ll also naturally become more empathetic because you’ll have firsthand experience of your students’ strengths and triumphs. The experience will make you more compassionate as you adapt to different learning needs and watch students go from being vulnerable to confident.

Related: What It Means to Be a Teacher

Thinking about applying to be a tutor in college? You'll have to give up a lot of your free time, but it will pay off. If you can be flexible, accessible, and supportive, you’ll be a great tutor and the benefits will outweigh the sacrifices. Get ready to grow as a person and student right along with your tutees!

Our student writers have so much great advice to help you make the most of high school and college! Check out more of their articles under our “student advice” tag.

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About Savannah Harris

Savannah Harris

Savannah Harris is an excellent student at Vanderbilt University (’26) in Nashville, Tennessee. Her interests lie in mental health, psychology, social justice, and much more. Outside of school, she likes spending time with her loved ones and binge-watching her favorite TV shows. What occupies most of her time, though, is her pursuit of a career in freelance and creative writing. With a lifetime goal to create and inspire people, Savannah prides herself on writing that’s persuasive, informative, and entertaining all at once. She genuinely enjoys writing for others just as much as she does for herself.

 

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