It’s the start of a new school year in the States, so here’s some helpful reading. First, for parents: “Educating Our Kids: Exploring the Options.” Second, for college students: “10 Things to Do in College (Probably) More Important Than Going to Class.” And a hearty “Yes!” to numbers 1, 4, 7, and 10. Here’s number 10:
10. This is the single greatest piece of advice I’m going to give you: Go to Office Hours.
This is time that faculty has (to) set aside to meet one-on-one with students, and you should take advantage of it. Go early and go often: Form relationships with your teacher, ask questions about difficult material, prime them for that moment when you’ll ask for a letter of recommendation, and show them that you care — not just about your grade, but about your education. Do this whether your instructor is a TA barely older than yourself, or a world-famous professor once interviewed on The Daily Show. Just don’t be surprised if that hilarious, engaging lecturer acts, in office hours, like you’ve just walked in on him in the toilet. Academics are some of the most socially awkward people on the planet.
I hope I don’t fit the stereotype…