Taking Advantage of Professor’s Office Hours.

Now I know what some of you may be thinking—why in the world are you writing about this now, when the term is pretty much over?  Well, I figured that you could have this information before the new school year begins, or if you are going to be attending summer term, then you will be equipped with information that will allow you to be more successful in school!

Considering that I have been at WOU for three years now, I have had my fair share of trying to hunt down my professors so that I can speak with them about troubles that I have had in my classes.  Or when I was still doing undergrad work, I spent plenty of time with my professors, in order to figure out a “plan” for completing all of what was required to successfully acquire my degree.  And even now, as a graduate student, you will still find me in Maaske Hall, where most of my professors ‘reside’.

Make sure to be aware of professor's office hours!
Make sure to be aware of professor’s office hours!

Anyway, enough of my rambling—I want to share with all of you ways in which you can take advantage of office hours with your professor.  And all I can say about this is that being able to meet with your professors outside of class is a valuable tool.  It is unfortunate, however, that some students never go and see their professors throughout their college careers!  Sometimes this happens because students think that they will ‘bother’ their professors with their questions, some may feel intimidated, while others are indeed overload with other activities that they may not have time to meet with them.  Whatever the reason may be, I am an advocate of meeting with professors, and taking advantage of their office hours, which of course, are meant for students with questions, concerns, etc.

So, while some of you may know what office hours are, others may not.  In short, office hours are specified days and times throughout the week that the professor has made available for meeting with students.  These hours can usually be found in the syllabus, others may be posted right outside of the professor’s office, or sometimes, they are even posted online!  So pay close attention.  And of course, sometimes things come up where you cannot meet with the professor during their office hours, so it is always a good idea to shoot them a quick e-mail regarding your question, or perhaps you can also set up an appointment to meet.

Meeting with professors can=equal success in the classroom and in completing your degree.
Meeting with professors can=equal success in the classroom and in completing your degree.

OK, so now that this has been said, most of you may be thinking, “Well, what do I do next?”  Great question!  For example, if you are having trouble with let us say, math, before you go and meet with your professor be prepared by having on hand the problems that are troubling you.  There is nothing worse than being unprepared because in essence, you are just wasting precious time.  The same goes if you are having trouble with writing a paper.  From personal experience, I try to go into my professors’ office with some ideas regarding topics that interest me, and from there, my professors have been helpful in giving me feedback.

And while this may seem blunt, it is always a good idea to go into the professor’s office and getting to the point.  I have also had some experiences where I have waited 10-15+ minutes for a professor to become free, due to a student talking about issues not related to the course.  In other words, please be considerate of others.  And if you know that you are going to be a while, perhaps you can set up another time to meet with the professor, because I know that when it comes to degree planning, these sessions tend to stretch out sometimes.

If you don't have time to meet with your professor, feel free to shoot them an e-mail.
If you don’t have time to meet with your professor, feel free to shoot them an e-mail.

So if you are one of the students that have not met with your professor, due to being shy, intimidated, or embarrassed, shake that off!  These professors are there to help us with any concerns we may have in regards to courses, degree planning, etc.  And what most do not know is that meeting a professor during their office hours is much different from when they are in class, lecturing.

Anyway, I hope this helped!

By Antonia Rojas 

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