What should you say? You might go to office hours with a specific question in mind. Maybe you missed a piece of the lecture or felt confused, or maybe you had trouble with a homework assignment or want to talk about an essay prompt. But, you don't HAVE to have a question about course materials. You can go, introduce yourself, and discuss college more broadly or just get to know your professor a little bit (and let them get to know you). Here are some suggestions for discussion prompts:
- I know professors sometimes do research, what do you research or what is your area of expertise?
- I'm really enjoying your class so far (only say this if it's true), and I'd love to find some interesting resources on the subject. Do you know of any YouTube videos or websites that I should look at?
- I'm a ____ major, and I'm taking this class because it is required for graduation. But, I feel like the material I'm learning might be useful to my major / future career - can you help me think about the connections between what I'm learning in your class and what I'm majoring in?
- Hi, I just wanted to stop by and introduce myself. I'm ___ and I'm majoring in ___. I'm really looking forward to what we are going to learn this semester in your class!
Why should you go talk to your professors? If you're planning to ask a professor for a letter of recommendation, it's very important that they know who you are. It is very difficult for your professor, who likely has hundreds of students each semester, to write a strong letter for someone they've never met. Visiting your professor early in the semester also helps break the ice, that way later in the semester if you find yourself struggling, you feel comfortable asking them for help, and they know who you are. Finally, your professors LIKE students (at least, most of them do). They want to meet you, hear from you, and help you! Hearing from you helps us do our jobs better.