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Why every college student should go to office hours

There are multiple benefits to getting to know your professors a little better.

A little one-on-one instruction can go a long way.

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Office hours — the time each professor sets aside to meet with students each week — are the perfect time to get to know your instructors and to get the extra academic help you need, straight from the source. Here are three things every student should be doing in the first few weeks of classes.

Say hello: It seems simple, but it’s important to pop into office hours simply to introduce yourself, especially if it’s a large lecture class. Your visit doesn’t have to be long, but it’s nice just to stop by to say hello and perhaps mention what inspired you to take the class. Are you taking biology because you are interested in being pre-med or going into nursing? Your instructor may appreciate knowing this.

Ask for help: If you know from past experiences that you might have trouble in certain classes — a language or science course, for example — it’s best to talk to your professors well before that first exam. Professors usually notice when it’s clear that a student is trying his or her best. Plus, getting some one-on-one instruction each week has its own benefits.

Plan ahead: You don’t want to get to graduation and realize that none of your professors know you well enough to write a letter of recommendation. Take some time to chat with your instructors about your career plans and aspirations.

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Follow Lakshmi Gandhi on Twitter at@LakshmiGandhi.

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