Let’s face it, going to your professor’s office hours during your free time isn’t something most students want to do (and they don’t). You’ve got an A in the class so why waste your time heaving yourself over to some random building you never planned on going to during your collegiate years. Or better yet, you’ve got a D in the class, you missed the grace period to drop it, and you’re planning on missing out on any possibility of passing as well. Whatever your situation is, going to your professor’s office hours while you’re in college will only benefit you, as well as your professor. Here are the reasons why:
Although you are essentially paying for school, visiting your professor’s office hours is an amenity that can benefit you. Many people who aren’t in school, but are pursuing a career, don’t always have the resources to meet with professionals in their field. Take advantage of the resources you have while in school for maximum benefit.
You’ll build a better relationship with your professor
You should be meeting with your professors to broaden your understanding of a subject or to receive direct help with a specific project or assignment. Good conversation is always appreciated, but most professors can tell why you’re visiting. A genuine seeking of help or knowledge from your professor is most likely appreciated.
You’ll keep yourself in check, as well as your professor
Visiting your professor will remind you and your professor that you both value what you are doing. Whether the scope of your visit being as broad as simply attending college, or as specific as finding the right sentence structure for an essay thesis on the mating habits of bottlenose dolphins in relation to today’s outrage culture. Visiting your professor’s office hours is a nice reminder that you value your education.
Most professors want students to utilize office hours
Professors who post their office hours publicly want you to utilize them. The ones who don’t, don’t. We’ve heard all too well of stories where professors have numerous office hours a week and end up having roughly one student visit in an entire semester. Many of your professors want you to utilize their office hours!
It’s an opportunity to discuss topics that you may not be comfortable discussing in class
Lectures and class discussions can get heated sometimes. You may oppose something your professor says and want to speak to them about it, but not in front of a group of 300 students waiting to capture a possible viral video. You may have questions that expose your true nerdiness and don’t want your cool peers to know just how much you know (or don’t know) about Emily Bronte’s Wuthering Heights. Or maybe you want to know the evolutionary reasoning for penguin’s inability to fly, without taking the class on a ridiculous tangent on body weight to wing-span ratios. Going to your professor’s office hours is a great way to talk to them privately about topics you’re interested in but would prefer not to discuss in class.
Professors are people too and enjoy company as well as intellectual and casual conversation
Professors can be truly awesome people, and truly awesome people can hold truly awesome conversations. If you enjoy having intellectual discussions or casual conversations about topics you’re focusing on, visiting your professor's office hours to discuss those topics (or even topics outside of your focus) is definitely a great time to do that!
Alec Mackenzie is a writer from the San Francisco Bay Area and currently lives in the Greater Los Angeles Area. He has been writing creatively since high school and throughout his college career, with versatile experience in fiction, non-fiction, journalism, and screenwriting. When not working at his day job, he enjoys being outside, staying active, cooking, and writing.