Secondary school education can be overwhelming for both you as a student as well as for your professors – and University of Portland is no exception.
Here are some university professors’ and my personal advice about how to make your office hour meetings worth both you and your professor’s time.
- Check your professor’s scheduled office hours
Your professors are just as busy as you are. In fact, they may be even busier. Their office hours are set times and days they made an effort to set aside special for student walk-ins and scheduling. If those hours don’t work, don’t be afraid to ask to schedule an appointment. In fact, some professors prefer this because then they have a better idea of what kinds of work they will be able to do in the meantime. Depending on your department, they may end up leaving early to snag what little research time they have.
- Don’t be afraid to pop in. They don’t bite!
The professors are there for YOU. If you are a freshmen or sophomore, the idea of simply walking into your new professor’s office seems intimidating, but eventually you’ll realize that you can build a wonderful and long lasting relationship with them. Don’t be surprised if you end up popping in just to say “HI!”
- Go ahead and ask questions
No matter what it is you need help with, don’t be afraid to ask. No question is a dumb question. They are happy to answer and help you in any way they can. They are there to clarify any homework questions you have, act as adviser for registration, and if you are lucky, may even bestow upon you words of life wisdom.
- Come prepared with your own research and notes
Whether it is homework research and notes or just a tentative schedule for classes, be sure to keep your own copy. Professors are human too and can make mistakes just as well as they can fix yours. As a rule of thumb for all academia, it’s simply a good idea to double check and verifying each others work.
- Know your own lives and keep them informed
This pertains particularly to scheduling. You have to let your advising professor know what your daily life schedule is like. This is the best way for them to gauge an appropriate schedule for you. Otherwise, you’ll end up overwhelmed with back to back, clashing, or missing classes. Stay organized and keep your professor in the loop.