Al's a-Musing: 5 ways Dead Week is like 'The Walking Dead'

For those of you who don’t know, “The Walking Dead” is my geek-chic/guilty pleasure TV show, so naturally, everything I write (read: think about) runs through the lens of zombie survival. On a related note, it’s Dead Week (the week before finals week, for those of you new to this fresh hell), and I cannot stand this week in the semester. Many finals are held during this week, corresponding with final projects and presentations, making this week feel like a figurative apocalypse.

To aid myself in this despairing week, I have taken the liberty of compiling a list of similarities of Dead Week and “The Walking Dead.” I will do my best not spoil the series for those of you who haven’t yet indulged in the gory pastime.

1. Everyone can expect to die. Death is a fairly prominent companion within the show, and it makes sense as to why. You’re surrounded by insatiable corpses. That leads to death. Much like the impending doom of the zombie hordes, no one makes it out of Dead Week in one piece. Regardless of people’s preparation and diligence, things never go as planned, and even the valedictorians suffer injuries with the onslaught. If you think you’re fine, you’re wrong. If you think you might survive, you just might be right. But I can’t make any promises.

2. Strategy is key. Running and gunning works for your short game, but eventually you run into problems. You run out of food, ammunition and safety more quickly than you can find it, and eventually, you turn into a human chew toy. Strategy is also key within Dead Week survival. Pick targets. Properly prepare to complete them. Accomplish your work.  Repeat. Anything else could cost you your life.

3. Take on “Walkers” one by one. People rarely die when engaged one on one with a “Walker.” People always die when they take on dozens at once. When faced with herds of assignments, you have to focus on one at a time. Efficiently kill it, without breaking formation, and you can knock them down as fast as they crop up. Wait too long, lose focus or priority, and you’ve been sucked into a macabre riot.

4. Find enemies. Control them. Every semester seems to have a villain. One course seems to control you, threaten your ability to withstand not just that workload, but its evil spills into the rest of your coursework. It’s almost as though that particular professor wears an eye patch and marks repeatedly in a grade book. This antagonist must be controlled. Storm the walls. Take prisoners, and expose them for who they are. Blind them if necessary. (That was a figurative suggestion. I am in no way suggesting that you blind any professors.) But seriously, take that enemy and evict them from their Woodbury. Life will be easier once you do.

5. If you see a prison, take it. High risk can actually equal high reward. Sometimes you have to dive into the thick of the danger to establish a haven. Despite the counter-intuitive nature of such a strategy, it will pay dividends if you make it work. Master your difficult subjects. Clear your late and missing assignments. Claim your house as your own. Using the four previous suggestions as key points, you can take your own academic prison (safe haven). Just make sure it’s the right move.

I hope that the end of this semester finds you alive and well. I’ll be taking on my own hordes well into next week. Remember, protect your own, and above all, stay out of Atlanta.