5 Reasons Students Should Meet with Professors During Office Hours

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3 min read

From getting extra help understanding class material to having the opportunity to dive deeper into a professor’s area of specialty, office hours are helpful in a variety of ways. They’re one of the most valuable resources college students can use. Yet, office hours are also one of the most underutilized free resources available to students on college campuses. There are many reasons students should meet with professors during office hours, including gaining access to research opportunities, gathering valuable career advice, and getting a deeper understanding of class material.

College professors are required to hold office hours weekly. Often, they’ll be held at the same time on the same day(s) each week. Sometimes, professors will ask you to book office hours with them by appointment. During office hours, you get one-on-one time with your professor.

Have you considered office hours but never attended? Here are five reasons students should meet with professors during office hours:

1. Office hours can help you better grasp course material

No one is an expert in every academic subject—we all need help from time to time. When there’s something about a class you don’t understand, or something you’d like to practice in more depth, your professor can help. Having your own one-on-one session with him or her means you’ll have plenty of time to get the help you need.

Your professor will appreciate your effort in coming in for help, especially when you’re struggling. It demonstrates that you care enough about the class and your grade that you’re trying to improve. But don’t wait until right before an exam to get help, as it can be very busy during this time—visit your professor as soon as you think you need assistance.

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2. Meeting with your professor during office hours can provide you with access to research opportunities

If you’re really interested in the same field that your professor is teaching, meeting with him or her during office hours to discuss research opportunities can be very valuable. Professors can discuss with you their own research experiences, which can help guide you toward one that might work for you. A professor may even have existing research opportunities in his or her department that he or she could offer you.

3. Visiting during office hours gives you the opportunity to receive career advice

Interested in a specific academic subject area, but not sure what kind of career you’d like to pursue? Meet with your professor during office hours to discuss your opportunities. He or she may be able to provide insight into how you can best use your skills.

4. Office hours can help you get to know your professor better

It’s important to remember that college professors are people too. They have their own unique interests and talents, and they can be very interesting people to talk to.

Attending a professor’s office hours conveys your interest not only in their class, but also in them as an individual. It can be worthwhile to meet with your professors to chat about their past work and accomplishments. You may find inspiration, or get ideas for your own career.

5. Visiting your professor during office hours can give you the motivation you need to succeed

If you’re finding a particular class boring or not sufficiently challenging, you may benefit from visiting office hours. By doing so, you’ll have time to talk to your professor on a more in-depth level, which may increase your attention and focus. You may even find that the class is more interesting than you first believed.

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