Office Hour: A Freshman’s Impression

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Hi! I’m Alina Joharjian, a first-year at Brown from Cranston, Rhode Island. Although I am plenty acquainted with life in Providence since I am a local, I am super excited to delve into the world of academia at Brown and take you on that journey with me! In the Office Hour column, learn more about the brilliant professors of the Brown community.

This is my first semester overview of my experience with my professors’ office hours. I have spent four months at so far, and I have come to some conclusions about office hours. Here’s my impression on how to get the most out of them:

  1. Go to office hours! Whether you are struggling with a problem set or want to talk about your idea for your paper with your professor, going to office hours will never hurt you. In fact, I believe that your professor getting a sense of your work ethic will only help you. Often times, this means you will have to start assignments early, but that is another discussion in itself…
  2. Go to TA office hours, too. In my experience, my TA was more approachable when asking questions. TA’s are a great source of knowledge. In certain situations, they can help you more than your professor. For example, I am taking a lecture class that has three different sections. There are around 500-600 people enrolled in the class total. I didn’t feel like going to my professor directly, because I understand that he has so many students. My TA has greatly helped me edit my paper and has been a great resource of information throughout the semester.
  3. Don’t be afraid to reach out. Professors aren’t the only who hold office hours. I’m talking about deans, academic advisors, peer-advisors, etc. This week, feeling really proactive, I visited two deans to discuss my classes for next semester. Not only did they help me with the academic questions I had, but they also gave me suggestions for the spring housing lottery and book recommendations for books to read over Winter Break. They were all around really helpful and enjoyable to talk to. If I hadn’t initiated the conversation by going to their office hours, I might have missed out on pertinent information.

There you have it. Happy Reading Week!

–Alina

Any questions or comments? I’d love to respond to you! Reach me at alina_joharjian@brown.edu.

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