Aug. 26, 2021

Why should you go to Office Hours?

There are many great resources to get help on campus, but there is one support that is often overlooked: instructors’ office hours. Now that I am at the end of my undergraduate degree, I know that this can be an underestimated resource for students. I am also very aware of how daunting attending office hours feels, but there are so many benefits to it that it’s worth being brave and taking that extra step to connect with them.
Why should you go to Office Hours?

But why exactly should you attend office hours?

  • It’s the best way to build rapport with your instructors! They will appreciate getting to know you better and knowing how the class is going for you.
  • You can ask questions and get clarification that you can be[MH1]  confident about, because the information is coming directly from the instructor[MH2] .
  • Conversing with your instructors can help you learn more about the material and they can recommend additional resources for your learning.
  • Through your professors you can gain insight about career choices in your field and learn about ways to get involved within the department. It’s never too early to begin making potential career connections!

Don’t just take it from my perspective — I spoke to a professor in the Faculty of Arts who shared her perspective on why you should attend office hours! Clarifying misunderstandings, getting help when you are having difficulties, discussing interesting class topics further, asking for reference letters, and asking about comments on assignments that you might not understand are just some of the reasons she shared. In her own words: “They should know we want to see them! it's much better if we can get a chance to help them before they get into trouble on assignments and exams.  Also, it's a good way to get to know individual students better than is possible in the classroom.”

Want some general tips for attending office hours?

  • Take notes!
  • Do as much work as you can beforehand and come prepared with questions about a topic you’re struggling with, or a reading you’ve been assigned, or an assignment that you’re working on/have received back.
  • Going in pairs is also helpful to hear other questions you might’ve not thought about and to make it less daunting; just make sure to let your instructor know.
  • Your course outline will always have information about office hours so make sure you read that as well, and email your professor if you still have any questions about it.

If you cannot attend the pre-scheduled office hours, don’t hesitate to email your professor to make a separate appointment to meet with them!