This year has not been the easiest now with being at home at Zoom University. From waking up in your room to going into your own personal classroom, online school isn’t the way we pictured our school year to be. Even though this isn’t the way we want our college experience to be, that doesn’t mean we can’t make the most out of it. While getting accustomed to your classes and getting used to your syllabus, professors’ questions may pop up in your head, and you might not have class time to ask. So the next best options to ask those questions are during their office hours throughout the week. Office hours are designed to help and benefit you in understanding any material or even just to get to know your professor to have a better understanding of what the semester is going to look like. So here are three tips and tricks that help me get through my office hours and hopefully will help you get through your virtual school year like a champ too!
- Know when the office hours are
The first tip is knowing when the office hours are. Most professors put it in either their syllabus, announcements, or send out an email when they are available to ask any questions you have. When you find out the office hours, let the teacher know that you would like to make an appointment with them and see their availability for the week. Shoot them a quick email letting them know your name, what class you’re in along with the day and time, and ask them their availability. Once they give you the time and day that they can see you, always show up a little bit earlier. By doing that, it shows that you are prepared and ready to ask your questions for when they show up. When they join the call, introduce yourself, and then ask them any questions you have about the class.
- Always be prepared with your questions beforehand
The next tip is to always be prepared with your questions beforehand. Always know what you want to talk about with your professor so that it won’t waste their time or yours. Jot down a few things that you were confused about during class and have it in your notebook so that way when you join the call, you will have a list of items already to talk about. This shows your professor that you can get straight to the point and already have a goal in mind as to what you want to grasp and understand from the office hours. Being organized and having everything ready to go will make things go very smoothly between you and your professor because you might not have as much time as you think you do. So always be prepared beforehand with your questions; that way you already come in with your material and can get straight to the point with your professor.
- Get acquainted with your professor
The last and final tip for going into online office hours is to just overall meet your professor so they can get acquainted with you. There are so many students they see on a daily basis; if you go in just to meet them and have a one on one with them, it shows that you are a determined student and also that you want to set yourself apart from everyone else. Don’t forget to always get on the camera looking presentable so they can match a name to a face. You don’t want to be remembered as the girl with the bonnet on or the guy with the tank top on. Once you get to have a bond with your professor over time, they can tell you apart from the other students and are more likely to help you with letters of recommendation. By the time your four years are up in college and you have built a rapport with most of your teachers, you can have so many opportunities for recommendations to help with internships and future jobs.
I know these troubling times made the school year less fun to interact with others in person, but I hope these tips helped. Use them the next time you go into your virtual office hours with your professors and don’t forget to not let these times prevent you from understanding your work. Keep pushing this school year and not give up, and once we get back on campus really use these tips in person so they can always match a name to a face whenever you email them for that letter of recommendation. Stay strong everyone. This semester may be virtual, but don’t let it stop you from being the best student you are and will always be!