Like most students, I had a handful of teachers in high school with whom I had a close relationship. Whether it was stopping by to say hey or to hold a quick conversation about the weekend, their doors were always open. It’s no different here on a college campus. To be completely honest, I freaked out before I went to office hours for the first time...
But what a waste of time that worrying was! Once I showed up, I felt welcomed right away. Professors are very accommodating when it comes to meeting outside of class. At first I was nervous about attending, but once I did I saw that I had nothing to worry about. Office hours are a helpful way to clarify fuzzy areas of a topic you are studying in class. For the most part, all of my professors have been extremely helpful during their office hours.
Of course, there are more reasons to go to office hours than just for class-related topics. It is crucial to build a relationship with at least a couple of professors during your college years. Eventually, when you are applying to that dream job or internship, you’ll need letters of recommendation. What professor will write a recommendation letter for a student they barely know? I hate to break it to you, but the answer is none.
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Apart from writing your recommendation letters, who better to talk to about topics related to your major than your very own professors? Chances are if your class pertains to your major, you and the professor may have similar interests. Maybe they have connections to a company you would love to work for someday. But how will you know if you don't attend office hours? Your professors also have a plethora of knowledge in their area of expertise and are happy to answer any questions you have.
Being close with your professor has additional perks. Though I have never been in this situation, I have friends who have had professors bump their grade up a bit because they knew that the student put in extra effort! One of my good friends had an 89 average in a class. In most classes here at Clemson, an 89 translates to a letter grade of B. She was one point away from getting an A she worked so hard for. And guess what…her professor gave her that A. Why, you may ask? Because she went to office hours and built a relationship with her professor. They knew she worked her butt off for that grade but fell the tiniest bit short, so they gave it to her anyway.
Building good relationships with your professors is a “must do” in college. It doesn't hurt you in any way; it can only benefit you. Ultimately it is your choice whether or not to attend office hours. But ask any college student anywhere, and I guarantee that he or she will highly recommend it. Doing so can only help you further your success at college.