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Video: Taking Advantage of Your Professors' Office Hours

Student vlogger Joe explains what you should know about office hours, including how to use them and ways to ease anxiety about meeting with professors.

Going to office hours can help tremendously with your academic and professional success in college. Student vlogger Joe is here to help you understand what office hours are, how to use them properly, and how to ease any anxiety you may have about meeting with your professors. 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 they'll be listed in the class syllabus.

How do you use office hours properly?

  1. 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.

  2. Send an email 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.

  3. 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!

Remember: You're 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 any anxiety associated with it.

Start searching for colleges on CollegeXpress, and watch more videos from our student vloggers on the CollegeXpress YouTube channel!

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