The Last of CVHS: How to survive an apocalypse on campus

*Warning: there may be spoilers for “The Last of Us”*

How likely would an apocalypse happen at our very own CVHS campus as a result of the cordyceps fungi mutating and consequently invading human minds? Extremely likely. If you aren’t a prepper, you should start to think about your means of survival once the time comes. Would you be the first to die as a minor side character? If you follow our tips, coming from “The Last of Us” enthusiasts, you might emerge to be the alpha main character with plot armor.

Don’t forget to put on your IDs. Who is she without her ID? (Photo courtesy of Bao Nguyen)

1. Put on your IDs

CVHS admins always bug students to put on their IDs not to identify you as a CVHS student, but to protect you from a potential apocalypse. When the time comes, the first thing everyone should always do during the first signs of an apocalypse is to put on their ID. To those that always put their IDs on, you’re good to go. Immune, even. If you’re always harassed by admins to put on your IDs, tsk, tsk, tsk, you won’t make it to the second episode. Extra points for survival if your ID picture is super ghostly and terrifying you might scare some infected with it.

2. Survival of the smartest

This is a simple tip, but one of the most lifesaving on this list. While underclassmen run to the lunch lines to raid the school kitchen, you have to stay put. As tempting as it may seem to grab some food for survival, don’t. You don’t know if the cordyceps fungi got into CVHS’s food supply.

Nina testing to see if the water is unfiltered enough. She says yes. (Bao Nguyen)

3. Collecting water

We all know the golden rule: three days without water will leave you dead. Personally, I never remember to drink water until I begin to look like a shriveled-up SpongeBob. But even when I am hydrated, the chokehold of a can of cold, sparkling water has over me is almighty. With the apocalypse upon us, it would be insanely difficult to find said sparkling water on campus, so you have to refer to the next best thing: the water filling stations. Specifically, the ones with an unchanged filter. These stations will provide you with a spicy kick, similar to sparkling water, and build up your immune system from the fungal particles. So, grab your 30-ounce Yeti and fill it up as soon as possible!

4. The distraction

At CVHS pep rallies, there is always one group that outperforms, outshines, dances like they have bills to pay. That’s the K-Pop dance team. As runners and clickers stampede into the school, putting this team on our front lines will guarantee at least an hour of time for others to escape. These infected were once stans, so when they see the team dancing, they can’t help but join along.

Nina Nguyen expertly camouflages into her environment. If you can find her, leave a comment. (Nina Nguyen)

5. Camouflage

Once you’re away from the chaos, the next tip is crucial to your survival: hiding. By playing on the defensive side, you are guaranteed an upper hand. Thinking back to all moments in history, there was only one person who was able to hide in plain sight. That was none other than “The Hunger Games” bakery boy, Peeta Mellark. The darling of the Capitol. We all had the same jump scare when he camouflaged into the ground, ready to be stepped on, but because of this skill he was able to last longer than most men. 

(P.S. The garden beds are the best place to hide, so throw on some dirt and lie down.)

Bao Nguyen easily pulling the door off. (Nina Nguyen)

6. Door weaponization

During an apocalypse, everyone needs a weapon. Here are some easy steps to follow in this specific order that’ll get you the best weapon ever. If you don’t follow each step, the weapon will not be as effective. 

Step 1, go to the nearest door. 

Step 2, take off the hinges of said door. 

Step 3, lay the door down onto the ground. 

Finally, with all the strength you can muster, take off the door handle and abandon the door. Any door would work, but I’ve found that the easiest door handles to remove are the ones leading outside.

7. A splash of this and that

If you’re ever followed by a hoard of infected people and can’t seem to lose them, you need something flashy and effective to fend them off. Run to the nearest science lab, close all doors, then begin searching for any chemicals. If you took chemistry in-person, proceed with caution. However, if you took chemistry virtually, you probably know the subject incredibly well. Use your online chemistry knowledge to mix all the chemicals you can find together (please remember to abide by lab safety rules and wear goggles) then run out of the classroom without looking back.

8. Tripwire

The most important thing I took away from all four years at Carnegie is that rolling backpack kids are deadly. Their wit is deadly; however, their monster with two (or four?) wheels and a handle is even deadlier. Your best bet on survival is to befriend a rolling backpack kid and have them carry you to survival. Those backpacks can probably trip two infected in the span of two minutes. Together, with your door handle and their rolling backpack, you guys are unstoppable. 

(P.S. To all the rolling backpack kids, please be wise with who you choose to befriend because you can probably survive on your own.)

9. Her

On the scale of “The World’s Most Terrifying Things,” the infected surprisingly fall in second place. No. 1 is taken by Mrs. Hill, and we all know why. Let’s say the infected were once AP Research students. One stone-cold look from Mrs. Hill, and they’ll be sent running as memories of forgetting to submit their presentations in OneNote come rushing back. If we equip this skill, we will have ourselves a makeshift Miranda Priestly.

10. The serenade

This has to be done after you’ve got a proper weapon. To guarantee your survival, you need to pay homage to Bill and Frank. If you feel safe enough, run as fast as you can to Ms. Matsu’s room and take hold of the speakers. Then, sing “Long Long Time,” in its entirety for everyone in the building to hear. The infected will start to cry, and maybe you will too.

The hidden bunker in Mr. Tran’s room, where many students have cried over tests. (Photo courtesy of Nina Nguyen)

11. Bunker

What comes to mind when you think of real estate? Rich people? Nepo babies? Well, folks, the person you should have in mind is our very own Mr. Tran. Since he’ll be hiding in his West U property, this will give us the perfect opportunity to use his backup space the bunker. Just like Bill in episode three, I would not be surprised if Mr. Tran owned a secret bunker in his class (just in case things went south). This shelter is perfect, equipped with state-of-the-art supplies, since it was built to protect him from far-left and far-right students.

12. Find a Joel

“The Last of Us” is known for its complex plot, detailed character building and emotional connections made with its viewers. But it’s also known for Pedro Pascal, aka the internet’s “synonym for father.” He plays the main character, Joel, and let’s be real; Ellie would have died without him there. This man is allergic to natural selection and never sees death knocking on his door, contrary to Pascal’s role in Game of Thrones. So, if you really want to “live” in this hell world, you need to find yourself a Joel. Or a Pedro Pascal, same thing.

If Mr. Barnes had to calculate the statistic of everyone’s survival, it would fall to 0%. In our eyes, the words “survival” and “CVHS student” are very unnatural to see put next to each other, especially when it comes to anything athletic. But with the power of your brains and this beautifully constructed list of tips, your chances of survival will boost to 131313%.


This story is satire.