11 November 2019

Almost There

Just a few more weeks until the end of these exams! These past six months have been very stressful and oppressive. I cannot wait for the liberty of December. But I must remember to continue working hard now, or else all this stress will come back again. I really don’t want to have to re-do any of this.

At lunch, a few of us were reflecting on what made these exams stressful. One part of it was the uncertainty that is generated around these exams — the standards for passing are not so clear, and it often results in a great deal of groundless anxiety. It does remind me, however, that dealing with uncertainty is a skill in itself. It’s a common theme in certain circles, especially in the military and special forces, where they look out for those who excel where there is no feedback, no clear standard, nothing but a vague task to complete. One of the tests that they use in such selection courses is the unknown distance ruck — march for an unknown distance but make sure you meet the time required. That test seeks to pick out those who are able to deal with the stress of uncertainty and push themselves to excel even without the information that we would otherwise think is necessary for such a situation.

The lesson here might well be to embrace uncertainty and to seek to excel regardless of the situation. Less complaining from me and more rucking, I guess.


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