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The Echo
Taylor University, Upland, IN
Saturday, June 22, 2024
The Echo

Taylor University survival guide: How to survive finals

By Alyssa Roat | Contributor

Christmas lights glimmer. Open houses abound. The smell of hot cocoa and peppermint wafts through the air as Christmas carols drift from the Smith-Hermanson Music Center. It's that time of year again.


For many, "Jingle Bells" and gingerbread might elicit joy, but for the Taylor student, they are harbingers of doom. The bustle of open houses, Christmas performances and even Silent Night only serve as distractions, like medieval citizens holding posies to their noses to mask the smell of the Black Death. But when was the Black Death? How many people died? If Thomas Aquinas had the Black Death and walked at 4.9 mph for 300 yards while carrying a copy of "Life Together" during his aerobic walking course, how many seconds would it take to create intentional community?

You better know. It will be on the final.

How to survive? Finals are designed for one purpose: to drain the souls of students. Every word studied, every answer circled, every sentence scratched, sucks a sliver of life from the student. It has not yet been discovered who is behind this evil scheme, but all of Taylor's campus suffers.

We are in the midst of the Finalpocalypse.

But fear not! As there are guides to the zombie apocalypse, here I provide survival skills for conquering finals. There are three ways to survive: fight, flight or hide.

First, you can hide. Some students do this in the form of sleep. If you stay in bed, the Black Ink Death, also known as Final Fever, may take longer to find you. However, the Finalpocalypse is dangerous. Hiding in bed may not be enough. Some students have come up with even better strategies. They stake out study rooms to convince the Black Ink Death they are serving the evil scheme, but instead they sleep with a textbook for a pillow. This is a wise tactic indeed.

If hiding doesn't work, you can fight. Fighters are easily identified. Look for the telltale signs of shaking limbs from too much coffee and bloodshot eyes from staring at endless pages of notes. Fighters attack their notes relentlessly. Some flip through the pages so quickly they don't comprehend what the words are saying. This is an excellent way to confuse the Black Ink Death. Others stare at one page for hours and memorize it in its entirety. This prevents any other page from sucking their soul. However, most evident are the bravest, those who try to attack all their finals. No man or woman is strong enough to stand up to the Finalpocalypse in its entirety. These students will often be found sobbing in the fetal position in the middle of the library. Avoid them. It could be contagious.

Some opt to indulge in flight. The tactics of the absconders are diverse. Some flee to the hills of Netflix, hoping to numb themselves before the Black Ink Death wraps its icy fingers around them. Others attend every open house and every event. You'll find them at Jay's at two in the morning. Their crazed laughter gives them away as fugitives from the oppression of the Finalpocalypse. Some will obsessively clean or pursue otherwise onerous tasks in an attempt to flee the misery of the Black Ink Death.

All of these strategies may help, but inevitably, the Finalpocalypse does come. These tactics only serve to prepare the student for the final battles. On your way to the battleground, you may want to gear up. Some don ridiculous costumes in one last act of rebellion against the oppression of seriousness. Others more practically sharpen at least five dozen pencils to a perfect tip and line them up on the desk. Then, the end comes.

The final will naturally be at least 25 times harder than the class itself while covering the same information. At this point, hopefully you have not paid attention in any class or read any of the resources during the semester, as this will certainly not help you. Cramming is clearly the best tactic.

During the test, realize the fate of the world rests on your shoulders. Remember, your performance on your finals will determine the course of your life. If you fail a final, you might as well pack up and find yourself a cardboard box in which to live out your days under a bridge. Everyone you know will of course hate you for failing a contrived measure of factual retention, so you will have no friends or family. You will be so devastated that you will most likely sob for the rest of your miserable life.

Do not let this happen. Follow the advice of the Taylor Survival Guide. Go forth and conquer the Finalpocalypse! And have a Merry Christmas while you're at it.