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The Daily Tar Heel

Editor's note: this article is satire.

Finals are less than a week away and you’ve been chosen as one of our contestants for our biannual competition: “UNC Finals Survivor."

Welcome to the fall 2023 season!

Training is well underway. Note: students average around 22 hours of (brain) exercise, to prepare for the real thing. We hope you’ve been doing your flashcard push-ups.

When the clock starts, you are marooned away from friends, family and any support. It is your objective to survive and advance.

Want to know what you’re playing for? A passing grade.

First hint: find your hot spots and their hours of busy operation. Most people think the key to success is getting to places early, but all you're doing is entering yourself in a bloodbath. Let those rookies fight each other in the Undergraduate Library at the crack of dawn, and swoop in to get the comfy booths. You know what they say: the later bird gets the worm. 

Secondly, block all of your friends online and in-person. Stop talking to your roommate. These people are your competition on the island and they are a distraction. Nothing productive comes from collaboration, so break off any and all alliances. And believe us, the enemy of your enemy is still just your enemy. 

Third, forget bringing a pen or a pencil. Per the rules of UNC Finals Survivor, bringing writing supplies is cheating. They won’t help you anyway.

However, you should be prepared with your notes — a.k.a. pictures of the board that you took one time during lecture. But if you failed to do so beforehand, fear not. You won’t be asked anything other than “A, B, C or D" anyway, so just rely on your wits. 

There are rewards on the island. Be wise about what treats you want to indulge in when given the opportunity. You don’t want the generous helpings of the bottom of Lenoir or nutritious toppings like alfalfa sprouts and smoked salmon sponsored by Alpine Bagel. If you ever are lucky enough to come across it, fuel yourself with the prized Celsius vending machine instead.  

When you feel like it, arrive at your examination challenges. You’re on this island until the end, so there’s no need to rush to get to a challenge site on the campus early. Your guide may say the examination challenge is at 8 a.m., but that really means whenever you're ready. Plus, everyone on UNC Finals Survivor will wait for you to start the challenge. Take your sweet, sweet time! The experience really is what you make of it. 

Ultimately, spontaneity, luck and delusion are your real friends in this competition. You won't be tested mentally or emotionally — only on your physical ability to sit in a chair and bubble in. Don’t stress about intellectual things. 

Final reminder: you’re on this island not to do well, but to make it memorable for UNC Finals Survivors viewers and past victors. Incite drama as much as you can, be insufferable and don’t actually prepare for any tasks because you’ll ace them regardless.

Good luck!

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