Stop whatever you're doing, and read carefully. This article could—no, it will—SAVE YOUR LIFE. In several steps, I am going to tell you how to survive the zombie apocalypse ... or finals week. There are shocking parallels between fighting off waves of the flesh-eating undead, and passing that Lit Hum final for which you really just didn't study. Coincidence? We'll see. Stage 1: Isolation Now, there are lots of different brands of zombies. Unfortunately, we won't know exactly what type of resurrected human with an insatiable desire for cerebrum we're dealing with, until it's too late to do anything. So, whether you're dealing with the slow, moaning types (we can only hope), or those speedy fuckers with some semblance of intelligence, the first step in surviving the oncoming apocalypse is the same—isolate yourself, and fast. When New York City turns into one massive undead rave party, you're going to have a very small window of time to get the hell out of there, before the sheer amount of zombies everywhere renders you royally fucked. It's the same with finals. Spring weather? All your friends about to go play pickup ultimate frisbee in Riverside? You'll have "studying can wait until after [insert preferred method of procrastination]" syndrome before you can blink. I know, it sounds horrifying. But get your ass to Butler. Or the Hartley study lounge. Or hell, lock the door to your room and turn your cell phone off. I'm not saying that you can't take the occasional study break to revel in the sunny glory of girls in bikinis and athletes without shirts. Just note the key word in that last sentence—occasional. Isolate yourself from the many distractions of the end of the semester, or you'll be that poor loner staring at a stack of books you haven't studied with a final in ten hours. Trust me. You don't want to be that guy. Stage 2: Headshot When you do inevitably have to fight the zombie menace, you don't want to mess around. If your trusted sawed-off shotgun's only got a few shells left, those dinky little stomach shots aren't going to do. Go for the head. If those zombies aren't sufficiently decapitated after you squeeze the trigger, you're doing something wrong. You'll be an undead chew toy before you know it if you can't obliterate zombies quickly and efficiently. Let's face it: It's their brains, or yours. So, when you're in Butler and study week is dwindling fast, you don't have time to study inefficiently. I know, so-and-so just broke up on Facebook and you've just got to read all those emotional status updates. Do yourself a favor, and turn the wireless on your laptop off. Study well, and cut out the distractions. Secondly, don't be afraid to ask your professor exactly how you should study for the final, and what material is going to be emphasized. You'd be shocked just how much a professor will divulge about the test when you show that you genuinely want to do well. Even if you are studying away in some godforsaken corner of Butler (Isolation? Check.), it doesn't necessarily mean you're getting shit done. If you're not studying well, you'll be just as screwed as if you spent all day playing soccer in Riverside. Stage 3: Choose your friends When battling your way out of a zombie-infested New York City, it's often a good idea to have some backup. Two shotguns are better than one. Or better yet, get some variety in there—with a shotgun, sniper rifle, semi-automatic, and a couple grenades for good measure (bonus points if they're incendiary)—and then the zombie skullduggery can begin. A small team of effective zombie killers will get you out of zombie central, and into a less populated region (where you actually have a chance of living past your college years) before you know it. On the study side of things, you might think this violates our principle of Isolation. It doesn't. If you seclude yourself with a few equally focused study partners, you'll be amazed at how well you can prepare yourself for finals. A few friends will catch mistakes you didn't see, or provide useful insight you just didn't think of on your own. Blast through those physics practice finals or the Decameron with a couple of friends by your side, and finals won't stand a chance. So there you have it: Some useful advice to defeat the living dead or your final exams—because even if you're skeptical about the IMMINENT ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE, there's no way in hell that finals aren't coming, and fast. Godspeed, soldier. The author is a junior in the School of Engineering and Applied Science majoring in Mechanical Engineering and Political Science.
Columbia Spectator Staff