Your Most Imporant Resource In and Outside the Classroom: Your Professor

Posted on October 25, 2011 by

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Dustin wax discusses in his post on LifeHack the importance of why we should visit our professors during office hours:

“You know that word “collegiality”? “Colleague”? What about “college”? OK, just testing with that last one. Anyway, they’re all words that describe a sense of community, a sense of people working together towards a common goal. That’s what college is about – working together, both with other students and professors, towards the goal of increasing both your own knowledge and the world’s total store of knowledge.

It’s in that spirit that I’m telling you, talk to your professors. Approach them after class, visit them during their office hours, drop them an email – just open a channel of communication.”

I must admit, taking advantage of office hours is something that I don’t do enough.  It may be the case for you as well.  Either you don’t have the time or maybe you’re doing well enough in the class that you don’t think you need (or really have the desire) to open that line of communication with your professor. Whatever your excuse is, visiting your professor can be extremely beneficial to your college career.

To reiterate a few of Wax’s ideas, you should visit your Professor because:

1) You can get the help you need by talking to the “expert” in your classroom.  Your professor can definitely get into more detail and help clarify topics you are having trouble with in class.

2) Thinking about Graduate School? Most Graduate School programs require at least two letters of recommendation.  Who better to recommend you for a program, than your favorite professor?

3) They are required to have a set of hours blocked out in their schedule just for you!  If you don’t visit them, they will spend this time sitting in silence, pining for someone to come to visit them. (I’m kidding about the silent pining part, that was actually a joke a professor of mine made when addressing the office hours portion of the syllabus on the first day…But in all seriousness…)  They WANT to see you, to talk to you about the issues you have with the course or about anything you want to talk about.  You might be surprised to discover that Professors are human, just like you. Not to mention, they probably have some pretty interesting stories to tell.

So take Wax’s advice: Go visit your professor today!  Like he says in his article, it doesn’t have to be anything “lofty” just stop by and introduce yourself.  I can guarantee when the time comes when you find yourself needing help with something, visiting your professor will be that much easier if you’ve already done the legwork, the hard part- that first visit.

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Posted in: Student Life