Arts & Culture

Apocalypse Approaches; Your Paper Still Due

By Anne Liners, Closed Twitter Long Enough to Write This

Because everything is normal and life is fine, the majority of Augsburg professors are expecting students to complete all of their regular semester coursework. Are you worried about completing academic work while the world as you know it crumbles around you? Trying to figure out how to revise a thesis statement, but all you can think about is the fact that you’re living through the defining crisis of our generation? So busy hoarding toilet paper that you forgot about your actual papers? 

Have no fear (or, no more fear than is appropriate for the absolutely terrifying world we’re all living in). The Augsburg Writing Center is open for online tutoring sessions for the rest of the semester. Our budget is based on how many students come in for tutoring, so please sign up for a session so I can keep my job. In the meantime, though, here’s some tips for how to write a paper while the apocalypse rages around you.

  1. Remember that nothing matters anymore, and whatever you turn in is probably fine.
  2. Find whoever you’re quarantined with and brainstorm by rambling out loud for a while about whatever you’re supposed to write about. Much like a writing center tutor, they can’t leave, so they’re ready to be infinitely supportive.
  3. Put your phone in the other room. If you start to scroll through social media, you’ll go down an hours-long global-pandemic-rabbit-hole that will make you so anxious, angry, and full of despair that focusing on schoolwork will seem unbearably pointless. Studies show that existential despair does not make for good writing, so avoid the news if you can.
  4. Always read your papers out loud before you turn them in to catch any errors you may have missed. This is a great chance to continue irritating whoever you’re quarantined with.
  5. Make sure to use lotion after you wash your hands eight thousand times per day. Cracked, bleeding, painful hands make typing difficult.
  6. Don’t write a paper about the coronavirus. Try to think about things other than the coronavirus. If your professor has a sick sense of humor and assigned you a paper about the coronavirus, just roll your eyes and remember that nothing matters anyway.
  7. Wash your hair and put on clean pants. Feeling even a little bit like a person who has their life together might help you find the tiniest scrap of motivation to get you through the next month.

Visit to sign up for an online tutoring appointment. Or don’t. Whatever gets you through this.