Making the Most of My Professor's Office Hours | St. Lawrence University

Making the Most of My Professor's Office Hours

Monday, March 2, 2020

At St. Lawrence, each professor is required to set aside an allotted amount of time to meet with students and advisees. These are referred to as Office Hours where students can come to this specific time to ask questions about assignments, courses to possibly take, and get overall life advice from their instructors. Office hours may seem intimidating at first, in fact, before college, I used to fear professors and vowed I would never step foot in a professor’s office, but I am writing this blog to help divert those assumptions. 

The many times that I have spent in Office Hours with my professors have been some of the most cherished moments I have had in my academic career at SLU. These moments were the times where I got to know my professors on a more personal level, different from the classroom setting where I was able to be myself and build a stronger rapport with them. I have shared laughs, cups of tea, and even Vietnamese candies with my professors during office hours. I will be sharing the ways that Office Hours can help strengthen your academic career and how you can get the most out of them. It is daunting to make the bold jump of walking into a professor’s office but the result is truly worth it.

  1. Show up early. Come to your professor’s office around 5-10 minutes before the official start of their Office Hours. This will hopefully put you first in line to meet with them as many other students will come with the hopes of meeting with them first as well. Coming to Office Hours early decreases the chances of having to wait in a long line of students, plus coming to events early is an essential life skill that you will thank yourself for later.

  2. Come prepared. Office Hours are valuable time and you do not want to waste your professor’s time or your own. Coming prepared allows you to get the most out of the session because you will have already prepared a list of specific questions or items you will ask your professor about. Professors can tell when you are not prepared!

  3. Ask questions. This is your time to ask questions and get clarification about coursework and exams. There is nothing wrong with asking questions and realizing when you need help. In fact, professors enjoy when students ask questions because it shows that they truly care and want to understand the material. The professor could also be more likely to give you hints or tips regarding upcoming exams or assignments!

  4. Do not go at the last minute. It is better to come to Office Hours when there is at least a week before a paper is due or an exam in your class. Going to Office Hours early before a big assignment or exam will put you at an advantage as well because you will already have had your questions and clarifications answered and addressed in advance.

  5. Be respectful. Respect is key in having a strong relationship with your professors. Keep in mind your professors are busy as well and have an abundance of work they need to accomplish but they set aside this time strictly for students. Remember respect when you may not be the first person in line like you had wanted or when an assignment is not making sense. Your professor is here to help you and they will work with you.