Getting Past Your Fear of Professor Office Hours
We’ve all been there. You’re in class, you don’t really understand what the professor is talking about and, instead of asking for help, you just forget about it.
Then, here come final exams and you’re trying to cram 16 weeks of lessons and discussions into a couple of study session. (FYI, this rarely works.) If you didn’t understand it when the professor first talked about it, chances are you won’t understand when you are trying to speed-learn the entire course, either.
There’s Still Hope
As the end gets closer and you run out of options, you remember that pesky information found at the top of every syllabus given to you by every professor you will ever have: OFFICE HOURS!
These are specific times every week that your professors have set aside to help you. Take advantage of them. Learn to communicate with your instructor and your life will be much easier, I promise.
Professors Want To Help You
A lot of people are intimidated by the idea of talking to their professor one-on-one, but it is so easy. Your professor will try to do everything they can to help you be successful, but it’s up to you to reach out to them.
Make an appointment or stop by their office and ask them for guidance. If they see you care, they will help.
Preparing For the Meeting
The fact that professors are always willing to help doesn’t mean they will do the work for you. It’s your responsibility to be prepared. Don’t show up at their office with just your notes and expect them to reteach the entire lesson. Instead, figure out what you don’t understand and prepare questions that are relevant.
Show them that you are trying to understand and not just get answers from them because they can tell what your true intentions are.
Always Be Polite
This may seem like a no-brainer, but common courtesy is so important. Your professors will appreciate you greatly if you show them the proper respect (which is what you should be doing anyway).
For example, when you email them to set up an appointment, be sure to be courteous and mention what you are struggling with. That gives your instructor the chance to prepare better for your visit. And if you stop by their office, don’t expect them to drop everything at once and focus on you. Remember they are very busy people as well, and they will make time for you. It never hurts to be polite.
It’s All Up To You
The majority of professors spend their office hours with their door open, waiting to help you so, like I said, take advantage of it. They want you to be successful. They want you to succeed in their course and in your college career, but it’s ultimately up to you.