17160 Stephen Kalyta Talks Exam Routine

“What matters most is you hold yourself to the highest standard, rather than scraping by”

Article by 17160 Stephen Kalyta

Unlike last year, few of my articles this year are aimed directly at the Cadets. I intend willfully to change course at least for this installment.

As many of my fellow classmates would tell you, I did not exactly breeze through exam routine myself. Ironically, in times of heightened stress, I find my dreamscape littered with past faux-exams where unlike reality, I am ill-prepared and disorganized. I never suffered from these self-inflictions and I would encourage you to avoid this folly. There will always be those Cadets for whom it seems they are destined to ace every exam like some vaulted super-being. For the rest of us mere mortals, we call upon our tenacity, our grit to persevere. It does not matter whether your best is better than someone else for as Jordan Peterson suggests in his 12 Rules on Life, to “treat yourself like someone you are responsible for helping.” Let that sink in for a moment. As a future officer, how can expect more from the people who serve with you, if you lower the bar of your own standard? There is no shame in a struggle, whether academic or any of the other three pillars at the College. What matters most is you hold yourself to the highest standard, rather than scraping by.

I would not expect all to agree with my next statement, for it is merely an observation from which I garner an opinion. For some odd reason, the ability to meet an overcome the challenges of exam routine, become a “sub-routine” for life. It activates a neuroplasty that is highly resistant to failure and expects the best. Be your best and you will see it will pay in spades in so many ways on the road to Life. Good luck to all and fare well.

One Comment

  • Graham Keene 10700

    December 10, 2018 at 10:56 am

    Stephen. I enjoyed your article as it made me smile being reminiscent of how the exam routine experience was for me. I have found though in my life that “scraping by” has been the norm but has nothing to do with not holding myself to the highest standard. Indeed in my case it has been just the opposite. I have always been driven to place myself in an environment that is outside of my comfort zone. RMC was no exception. To be honest I did just scrape by, but I worked very hard to do so. All four pillars were pretty shaky but they didn’t fall. I found myself in an institution of young men (at that time) which were the best of what Canada had to offer and somehow I was there albeit not a shining example. In the end, the prize from my perspective, was great as was the struggle. With hard work and a lot of help from my buds I made it through. My standards have always been relatively high but perhaps not as absolutely high as others as my ability was not as great and I am realistic. Saying I am what I am is not an excuse however for giving up and throwing in the towel. I have found that my struggle has served me well in my life after RMC. I still struggle seemingly so compared to my colleagues but somehow I come out in the black. I wish you well during the Holiday Season and thank you for your good words.