Office hours: It's time to go
For some reason, most students don't take advantage of the office hours that professors hold. This is time set aside when you can ask your professor for help directly.
I mean, come on people, that’s amazing! All those questions you want to ask in class but are too intimidated to stop the lecture to raise, now you have a space to ask them.
4 reasons to (finally) go to office hours:
Reason 1: Your professor is actually nice
The main excuse why students don’t go to office hours is that they’re intimidated by their professors. Let’s change that perspective by remembering that our profs are regular humans like us. (Some felt like they didn’t belong in university. Others were once shy students who preferred imaginative worlds.)
You may be surprised by how approachable a professor is when they’re not standing in front of a lecture hall of 100+ students. By offering office hours, they’re saying: I want to help you succeed in my class.
Reason 2: Put a face to your number
We’ve all heard the groaning at UBC that you can feel like just a number. Well, put a face to it. Go to the first office hours and just introduce yourself.
Start to build that relationship with a professor or two in your major program. This will be really useful to have when you’re in your upper years and seeking a grad school reference.
Reason 3: It’s free exam prep
Who writes your exams or grades your papers? Your professor. (Unless it’s your TA - then go to their office hours. It’s the same thing.)
So wouldn’t it make sense to ask them directly for help on the questions you don’t understand? They'll be able to explain concepts that could be found on the midterm questions they write. It’s like a personal exam tutor - for free!
Reason 4: It’s not cheating to get help
If you do your practice problems and find concepts that you need further explanation on, office hours will help you complete your homework. If you write your essay draft and ask for feedback on your thesis, you’ll know whether your essay is on the right track.
It's unbelievable how useful office hours are in filling gaps in your knowledge. Those questions you’re stuck on aren’t going to resolve themselves - and a simple 15-minute chat with your prof can really help clarify what you’re struggling with.
So don’t wait until the last semester of your last year to go to office hours, because I guarantee you’ll say, “Oh, that was quite useful. Why didn’t I come to this sooner?”