Originally Posted: Jan 24, 2018
Last Updated: Feb 27, 2020
Office hours can help tremendously with your academic and professional success in college. Joe helps students understand what office hours really are, how to use them properly, and how to ease any anxiety about going to them. Check out the video below!
What are office hours?
Both professors and teaching assistants are required to have a certain amount of time designated for students to come visit them in their office. Students are able to ask questions about class, assignments—anything! Usually you will learn where and when office hours are during the first lecture or within the class syllabus.
How do you use office hours properly?
Come to office hours prepared! Think about questions you have before you show up to your professor’s office. If you want to discuss your grade or ask a favor, be respectful and have an open mind about why your professor graded you a certain way.
Send an e-mail before you attend office hours (if that professor doesn’t mind). A lot of students come to office hours, so make sure you’ll have a chance to be seen. It will also help the professor or TA be prepared ahead of time to answer your questions.
If you want to ask a professor about their research, be prepared for their passion. Joe has experienced several lengthy conversations during office hours because discussions tend to get in depth.
Pro tip: If you’re in a big lecture and have a homework question, try to ask the teaching assistant! TAs are usually the ones who read your essays and grade homework, so going to the source for advice is always a good idea.
Don’t be nervous!
You are certainly not the first person to go to office hours.
Professors are people too, and a huge part of their job is to give you help and accommodate your individual learning style.
The more you go to office hours, the easier it will be to get over the anxiety associated with it.