College Prof Explains The One Thing Most Students Don’t Do That Would Make Their Lives SO MUCH Easier

I could have done things so much differently in college. Oh well, things turned out fine! (Looks around, thinks about jumping out open window.)

ANYWAY…I’m not talking about life choices, I mean I could have done small things to make life so much damn easier. It wasn’t difficult but it could have been cake. Small things like starting assignments the day they were assigned, getting up just a little bit earlier in the morning (even when I didn’t have class) and being a little more social with my professors and not just with jokes in the classroom.

This college professor explains how just taking advantage of a prof’s office hours can make your academic life so much easier.

Office hours are a college student’s secret weapon—and far too few students know how to use them. One-on-one time with professors helps students improve their work and, by extension, their grades. They’re also a necessary way to help students form independent relationships with their professors, something that becomes essential when it’s time to ask for recommendations for internships, scholarships, jobs, and graduate school.

I didn’t take advantage of office hours. In fact, I did something even dumber when I didn’t understand a lesson or an assignment — I asked classmates. Holy turds what a dumb idea. They were usually just as clueless.

If you’re not going to talk to your professors because you thing they’re too busy, well, you’re just as dense as I was back in school.

Professors may need to help students get over these psychological barriers. One of my colleagues, a community college professor in California, notes that many students—especially freshmen and first-generation students—don’t really understand what office hours are for. Her students frequently seem worried they will bother professors if they drop by, when in fact office hours are dedicated to them.

“I tend to get more students now that I’ve started calling them ‘student hours’ instead.”

“I tend to get more students now that I’ve started calling them ‘student hours’ instead,” she says. “I emphasize to students that those are their hours, not mine; they aren’t ‘bothering’ me if they show up with a question.” Professors have to remember, she continues, that “we’ve been in academia much longer” than our students. We can’t take for granted that students understand what a professor’s role in their education can and should be.

With finals just a few weeks away, it’s probably not to late to go ask questions and put your face in front of a professor. It will probably make a huge difference.

[via QZ]