A piece of advice that you’ll hear hundreds of times as a student at Illinois is this: Go to office hours. What are office hours, you ask? Every professor has open availability on at least one day every week for students taking their courses to meet them in their office for extra help. Conversations during office hours can include the course subject matter, research opportunities, or general questions about your area of study. Most students never take advantage of the opportunity to get to know their professors, and it’s truly a shame. So, future Illini, let me tell you about the benefits of going to these special office hours.
Your professors are cool: College professors are not people you should be afraid of! Often times, they were very successful in the industry or career that you’re interested in. They may have worked for many years and gotten some great experiences under their belt. You should go and talk to them and get some words of wisdom on how to succeed in their industry like they did. They’ll find it flattering that you care about their background and not just what’s on the test.
Course content can be simplified and explained with clarity: Once in a while, some class content can seem confusing. You don’t want to get left behind in class because classes move quicker in college than they do in high school. However, you shouldn’t feel lost in college by any means! This is why office hours exist. Go in and talk to your professor about what you’re confused about, and they will be so happy that you came in. Professors do not want their students to fail. Going in will show your professor that you care about the class, and they will clarify what you’re confused about!
Professors will become your biggest supporters: Be sure to form strong relationships with all of your professors. There will be future job applications that will ask for letters of recommendations. The professor that helped you succeed in class because you went to their office hours will be happy to write your recommendation letter to get you that dream job.
In short, the lesson is this: Go to office hours and learn all you can from Illinois professors. They’re here for you!