Getting to Know Your Professors

 As a student, especially one new to university, it can be daunting to try and get to know your professors. They may seem intimidating and unapproachable as experts in their field. On top of this, introductory classes are often quite large which can be overwhelming.

A good way to stand out from the crowd, though, is to go to office hours. While it may be scary, it allows you to build relationships with your professors. You can use this time to gain knowledge, take advantage of the resources available to you, and hone in on your interests. High school classes are often much smaller where you know your teachers  and may have been attending school with the same classmates for years. University is a different experience. You may not know your fellow students, let alone your professors, or even the city. This new situation requires some groundwork for success. In fact, in building a relationship with your professors, you may even be able to get letters of reference when deciding to continue your studies closer to graduation.


Going to office hours can also help you meet fellow students who are in your class. You can chat and possibly even gain new friends or acquaintances. This can be invaluable in classes with difficult assignments and those centered on group work. Office hours can also help you to excel as a student by clarifying difficult concepts and information directly with the professor or TA.


A final reason to go to office hours is that it can be helpful in learning about research opportunities as you advance through McGill. This can be both informative and valuable. Gaining research experience can allow you to try something new and help with admittance to graduate school.


While going to office hours may seem unnerving, it can help you to lay the groundwork for success at McGill by going the extra mile. It can help you decide on your major when you first arrive, gain research experience, and even get into a master’s. Professors are people too, and it is important to remember this when going to office hours. This way, you may find yourself both less intimidated and more respectful of their time.

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