Why Avoiding Office Hours is the #1 Mistake College Students Make

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Today, you are going to learn why avoiding office hours in college is the #1 mistake you can make as a college student.

For decades, many college students have never understood the importance of office hours in college.

In fact, recent survey was conducted to investigate the purpose of office hours and college student’s perceptions towards them.

Students were asked, “What would make you more likely to use office hours?” 

Out of the 724 responses, about 415 (57%) students responded with:

“How would I use office hours?”

“How should I use office hours?”

“I don’t really know what office hours are for?”

Wow, I was shocked.

About 57% of those students had no idea how to use office hours or understand what office hours are for.

In this blog post, I am going to show you all the benefits you can receive by simply setting up time to meet up with your professor during college.

Before we dive in, make sure to watch the video below about other students experiences, its only 1 minute.

1. You Can Acquire Research Opportunities

One of the best reasons to implement office hours into your schedule is for the sole purpose of acquiring internships, jobs, or any research opportunities.

Professors have more knowledge than we do, and they can provide valuable information and guidance to achieve your future career goals.‍

Many professors might already be doing research, and if you express strong interest in the research they are conducting, you can ask to become their research assistant. 

If they aren’t involved in any research, your professors might know a colleague who is and can connect you with them.

Going to office hours and sharing your future goals or expressing interest in a specific job will help professors remember you the next time they come across any jobs, research, or internships related to your field of study or goals

2. Study With Your Professors

This is literally how I got through college.

Sometimes students have a difficult time retaining all the information professors have lectured during class. A professor’s job is to teach students and to ensure they understand the course material. 

Professors don’t want to be notorious for having students constantly fail their classes – so you are doing them a favor by asking questions and clarifying any content that you do not understand to pass the class.

Making the effort to attend office hours also demonstrates to professors that you legitimately care about the course and your education. 

If you wish to earn A’s in your classes, this is by far the best method to achieve that goal.

Your professor is the only person who knows what will be on the test, so asking and learning any helpful tips or information regarding the exam can increase your chances of passing the class.

3. Receive Professional & Career Advice

If you need any advice or information about how to start progressing towards your future career goals, going to office hours is your answer.

Let’s say you are a psychology major and your professor is a Clinical Licensed Psychologist.

You can ask them what actions they took to get to their current position.

Trust me, people love talking about themselves, and they won’t mind it at all. In fact, they’ll most likely be flattered that you want to know more about them.

You can ask things like:

“How long did it take you to get your college degree?”

“What would you recommend I start doing to gain experience for psychology?”

“Where can I start applying to gain work experience relevant to psychology?”

You can literally ask them any type of question.

Remember, this is a career that they have dedicated their lives to and will be happy to point you in the right direction to succeed.

Don´t end up like many college graduates who are working at jobs that they are wayyyyy over qualified for. 

Don´t believe me?

Read my recent blog post I did about college graduates who are underemployed for not getting any internship or work experience in college, go here.

4. Missing Class or Assignments

Here is a 1-minute video you should watch about professors talking about why students should attend office hours and how they can help you succeed.

Going to office hours gives your professor the opportunity to get to know your story or any current struggles you may be facing. 

Often times, students are working too many hours, encounter problems at home, etc. and fail or get dropped from their classes.

It makes a difference when you communicate with your professor about your personal story or any struggles you are facing. It shows you are responsible and care about excelling in your academics.

It also helps them understand your situation and be a little lenient if you miss assignments or classes.

For example, I was a full-time college student working 40 hours/week in order to pay for my educational and personal expenses. 

Sometimes I would miss class or sleep in because I was so tired, but I made sure to go to office hours, check in with my professors, and explain what I was going through. They appreciated that I came to office hours and communicated with them because it showed I wasn’t missing class on purpose. 

That being said, do not take advantage of professors when they show you kind gestures by allowing you to turn in late assignments.

5. Recommendation Letters and References

Are you thinking of transferring or applying to the university of your dreams? What about applying to an internship, job, or a scholarship? 

Communicating with your professors and letting them get to know you on a more personal level allows them to write killer recommendation letters for you. 

Employers and admissions officers read recommendation letters all the time and can instantly spot BS recommendation letters versus genuine recommendation letters from faculty who personally advocate for you. 

Employers will find you to be a more competitive candidate if the recommendation letters show the writer really knows you as a person.

So during office hours, take the time to introduce yourself, and talk about your goals, aspirations, background, family, upbringing, and what you want to do with your education.

6. Professors Can Become Your Mentors

As a college student, it is imperative that you find a professor who specializes in your field of study and can guide or mentor you to succeed in your educational and career path.

Scheduling appointments throughout the week with my professors put me on the right path to finding internships, scholarships, and jobs related to my major.

By going to office hours every week, I had approximately 10 professors with PhDs who I became really close to and can reach out to them for recommendation letters or list them as references for jobs.

Whenever professors were notified about any internships, conferences, and research opportunities, they would reach out to me and recommend me for them because they knew my career aspirations.

If it weren’t for the guidance and support from my professors, I wouldn’t have landed my dream job as an Academic Success Coach straight out of college.

Conclusion

Office hours completely changed my life and without a doubt separated me from the rest of my peers because I was able to land my dream job straight out of college.

Not many students get the opportunity to land their dream job straight out of college.

It is crucial that you set up weekly meetings with your professors, even if it’s only for a couple minutes to talk about your progress.

Establishing a real and genuine relationship with your professors will not only build a meaningful mentor-ship but also puts you in a position to receive more job opportunities.

If you want to start attending office hours, but need guidance on what to do or say during office hours, let me know in the comments below.

For those who need help with this, I will send you a template that walks you through how to talk to professors during office hours.

So tell me, are you going to start attending office hours after learning how important it is? 

What are some reasons you don’t go to office hours? 

Make sure to share this article with anyone that you think would appreciate learning about the benefits of office hours.

And if you have any questions or comments, feel free to state them below.

Yours Truly,

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Yo! Yo! We are Marcos & Mayra

We help college students and millennials with ways to save & make money, eliminate debt, scholarship advice, resume & interview tips, and to achieve financial freedom to help you
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