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In spring 2020, I took four classes online and found myself with a lot of free time. I had enough free time that I could schedule a wisdom tooth removal appointment and spend a week eating potatoes and binging Netflix. So after a summer of doing absolutely nothing at home, I decided to add an extra class for my online fall semester.

However, what I did not know is that take five upper-division classes is a lot more different from taking four lower-division classes. When the syllabi came in, I started to understand how writing and reading heavy the classes I signed up for were. The first thing I did was figure out what classes were asynchronous and which were synchronous. Some of the classes had live in-class participation points, and it was important to consider that. 


black and white calendar flat lay
Photo by Emma Matthews Digital Content Production from Unsplash

Next, I marked down all the important papers, midterm, and final exams on a calendar to keep a better track of time. There were two different weeks where I had to write four papers. My tip for writing multiple papers is to spend time brainstorming ideas. I would be taking care of my niece or on Twitter when I had an idea for my paper. By reading the prompts ahead of time, you allow yourself time to think of a couple of ideas. Also, if you have a friend or sibling that can talk to you about arguments and ideas, it will come in handy. My brother and I usually seek each other’s opinions, but it is time where we can further develop our thoughts. 

After, brainstorming I suggest taking a few hours from a day or half the day to start writing the paper. You can switch around from papers, but what usually worked best for me was devoting a day or a few hours to one paper. If you do not have a lot of privacy at home or get distracted by hearing family talk in the kitchen, I suggest finding a place you can be alone and hear music. I usually listened to one album on repeat and sometimes one song to focus on my writing. 


Spotify on iPhone
Photo by Fixelgraphy from Unsplash

Lastly, leave the room, computer, phone alone for some time. There were days before a deadline where I was stressed and experiencing writer’s block and decided to take time away from the assignment and electronics. Allowing yourself space can help you come up with an idea or two. 

Brenda is a fourth-year feminist studies major. She was born and raised in South Central, Los Angeles. She enjoys writing lifestyle and mental health pieces.
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