Here's a short poem I wrote after my first time going to office hours:
Letter To My Professor
It always starts with Office hours
We're discussing the questions most asked but our eyes shout silent nothings
It is only here
That I️ feel this stiffness in my throat
The aching stiffness in my shoulders
Positions in our seats
Now we're on to the next season
The next reason for me to contemplate
Why the hell am I️ so uneasy
Is this not my truth in the words I'm speaking
Or Professor, do you just make me a little shy
A little scared to be myself in the naked eye
I️ could've sworn we were here
But now my mind gets a little intimidated by that soft glare
In our seats
(Written by Tamiel Mckee Bey)
How many of us have been here? The awkward silence, not knowing how to get around to what you really came for (that grade, to retake that test, to clear all your absences for the semester). This semester I told myself, “This semester I'm going to go to office hours! I am going to build relationships with my professors and benefit from those connections in the future!" Now we are already four weeks into the school year and I can barely remember where my classes are! I have not given up on my successful future, but I have yet to muster up the confidence to walk into any of my professor's office and ACT like I know what I'm talking about. Better yet, wherein our entire education did we talk about initiating these kinds of relationships or conversations? Unfortunately, the answer is nowhere, but I am here to tell you that it's a lot easier than we are all making it.
“I thought this was gonna teach me to be a better scammer"
You may be thinking, and you are not wrong! College has scammed all of us in more ways than 100,000,000 dollars! The time and effort we put into our classes, social clubs and relationships is not time wasted, but because we are here this is how we're encouraged to use it! You may have also heard THIS more than you can consume, “Go to office hours; build relationships with your professors; THEY ARE PEOPLE TOO!" But for a moment let's consider how that can benefit YOU.
For those of you wondering what in the hell “Office Hours" are, I am talking about the time your professor has allotted out of their schedule to help you be successful in your education (and sometimes life, depending on the professor). Most professors make it a point to stress when and where they have their specific “office hours" and whether or not you will need an appointment. None of this should intimidate you; JUST GO. If you're having trouble picturing how this could work out in the end, think about it like this: Would your professor have an easier time failing a number in a crowd as opposed to you, a student they have a relationship with? Nine times out of 10, your professors want you to succeed, ESPECIALLY in their class!
It never takes as much time or effort as you think it does!
JUST GO! Still unsure what to talk about? Why do you think our professors like to talk so much about themselves (on the low key)? You may not think their corny jokes about their dog are funny, but if they have a dog and you have a dog then BOOM! What's a better convo topic than puppy love??? Let's be honest, the only reason this is weird, to begin with, is because they have total control of your grade, but really it's YOU who has the control! Use this as a tool to ensure that you know what they expect on that essay coming up or to ensure that you have everything covered for that midterm next week! Why pay so much for an education and not utilize the time allotted for you to make sure you get that “A"!!
It's time you get exactly what's you pay for! This is your education and you need it NOW!