Visiting Office Hours: A ~SpOoKy~ Stereotype

In the spirit of Halloween, I thought I would touch on a subject that seems to spook everyone. Since syllabus week, all of our professors have talked about their office hours that happen at least once a week and encouraged all of us as students to see them if we have questions. Little do they know, some of us students are absolutely TERRIFIED to meet with them one-on-one. Especially if you’re in one of those huge chemistry or sociology lectures, comfort is often found in staying hidden in the back row and trying to figure stuff out on your own. But what happens when you’re really struggling and you need further explanation on a topic? Or what happens when you need a recommendation letter for something from a professor? You are not alone if you’re thinking “wow I’ve never spoken to my professor individually because they’re scary and they’ll think I’m stupid and I’m gonna fail out of college because they’ll give me an F”.

Believe me, visiting office hours may seem pretty spooky, but once you break the ice and start to build a relationship with your professor, they become another part of your support system to help you get through college.

Get rid of those ~SpOoKy~ stereotypes and use these tips when visiting office hours!

Introducing yourself for the first time

What you think it’s like:

When you’re about to walk into your professor’s office and you hear them talking to another student

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When your professor comes out of their office to get you

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What it’s actually like: 

I never went into office hours without notifying the professor beforehand via email a few days before. This allowed me to 1) make a good impression over email *find out how to send a more professional email here* 2) hold myself accountable so I wouldn’t flake out at the last minute 3) reassure myself that the professor at least knows I put in effort and is expecting me. Get off to a good start and build that rapport. You’ll be thankful you did when you apply for scholarships, jobs, and grad school and need a recommendation letter. So knock on the door and walk in there with confidence!

Asking questions

What you think it’s like:

When you ask if you did a problem correctly on your homework and they respond with–

GIPHY Studios Originals no nope finger wag GIF

When you ask several dumb questions and they just look at you like–

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What it’s actually like:

Professors have office hours for a reason. Often times they talk about how no one visits them and they get sad! (who knew they had feelings too??). No question is a stupid question. You’re here to learn and professors are here to teach and help you grow academically. Never feel bad for not understanding a concept or asking questions! Help-seeking behavior will only improve your college career. Write down some questions beforehand and bring your notes! Also, if you have a friend in the class, bring them with you to have a discussion about the material! Two brains are better than one and it will help you retain more of what you learned.

Don’t let your mind fool you, visiting office hours are not as spooky as they seem! Take advantage of every resource available to help you excel through the rest of the semester!

*When you are leaving office hours feeling GREAT*


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