UNDERGRADUATE ADMISSIONS at WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY in ST. LOUIS

Making Time for Office Hours

It can be difficult to schedule extra time for a class outside of the hours the average student schedules for lecture, homework, labs, and extra reading or studying. However, office hours are perhaps the best way to make a class mean something more to you than just a number on your transcript.

Not only do office hours give students the opportunity to ask their professors more detailed questions on course material or relevant topics outside of the syllabus, they can also help create meaningful relationships.

It would be amazing to think that the average person can easily master all 4 months of the course material for any given class and always have smooth sailing. However, there will occasionally be bumps in the road despite your passion for the subject and the color coordination of your notes.

At this point, it could be time to look for more options. Luckily, all of the professors at WashU are the ultimate resource. Not only are they obviously well versed in their fields, they are dedicated to educating their students with enthusiasm and concern for well being. So it makes sense that if you need a little extra clarification on a chapter of a book or more practice with a concept in calculus, you can turn to your professors for advice and extra support.

Office hours are also a great time to understand your professor better as both a person and an academic. I recently went to office hours with the intent of clarifying my professor’s comments on a paper, but ultimately was able to learn more about his recent conference experiences in his field.

Even though I knew he was obviously interested in the material he was teaching, it helped to know a little more about how he became so involved with the field and how he was contributing to the discipline outside of the WashU community.

Office hours are also really helpful if you think you might be interested in majoring in a certain department, need an advisor for a project, or are interested in doing research. Emails can be quick and easy, but office hours let your professors know that you care enough to make the time to see them in person.

Overall, office hours make taking a class an experience that lasts longer than just fall or spring semester. If you make a point to get to know the people behind the powerpoints, the material you’re working with takes on new meaning and your ability to succeed skyrockets.

There is nothing to be lost in asking for extra help and taking an interest in the people relevant to your academic world, and office hours present the perfect venue in which to do so.