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28-yr-old OAU’s student who broke a 28-yr-old record tells her inspiring story



28-year-old Aarinola Olaiya has become the first person to graduate with distinction in Surgery from OAU since 1989.

She will be graduating with 12 distinctions and after emerging as the
2017 overall best student from the medical school of the university,
she broke a 28 years old record at the Obafemi Awolowo University,
Ile-Ife, Osun State.

Read excerpts from her interview with Punchng:

What major factor inspired your academic performance in OAU?
I really cannot explain it. What I can
say is that the grace of God has been at work from my first day in the
university. Apart from that, I am a focused person. I always like to
have a goal in mind and I make sure that I focus on that goal without
giving room to distractions. I think this is what happened. Right from
the day I was admitted into the university, I made sure that I remained
focused in my studies.
As an undergraduate of Medicine, what was your daily routine like?
Every day, I would wake up, have my bath
and attend lectures. I usually go to the classroom in the morning.
Sometimes, I would attend a lecture at 8am till about 4pm. Then I would
return to my hostel to have some rest and attend to other things or
proceed on call. Sometimes I would stay on call till the following day.
Basically my daily routine was like that.
Did you have time for leisure?
Of course, I had. But, weekends were
very important to me. I spent most weekends studying. The higher I went
in medical school, the more time I created to read my studies.
Didn’t you attend parties at weekends?
No. I never had time for parties. That
wasn’t my idea of leisure. I just went out with my friends to eat and
then, we would have fun during the day before returning to the hostel.
What kind of fun?
We went out to eateries to have lunch, take pictures and so on. We didn’t go to clubs or drink alcoholic beverages.
What kind of friends did you keep at school?
I had just a few friends in the university. They were all purpose-driven people who knew where they were heading to.
What kind of relationship did you have with your parents?
My parents have been very supportive
from day one, especially my mum. She keeps me going all the time. My
siblings have been very understanding, too. They accepted me the way I
am and kept encouraging me all the while.
Do you have a boyfriend?
Yes. I have a boyfriend, but I never
allowed him to come between me and my studies. He does not live in
Ile-Ife. So he visits me in school sometimes. Most of the time, we
communicate to each other via the telephone.
Why did you choose to study medicine?
I had always known that I would be a
doctor. I actually got admission to study Botany in my first year at
OAU. That was in 2010. But then, I knew that I wasn’t going to end up
being a botanist. I knew I was going to be a doctor. So I sat another
UTME and here I am today.
Did you plan to graduate with distinction?
I did not set out to graduate with
distinction in the university. I just think that I tried to strive for
perfection. Although it is good to have goals because they keep you
going, who you are really matters a lot. Then there is the God factor. I
still believe that the grace of God has a lot to do with my
How would you describe your experience in medical school?
Medical school is not for just anybody.
If you have a daughter that wants to study medicine, you have to make
her think seriously about her ambition. You have to ask her if she
really wants to be a doctor. You have to count the costs before she goes
ahead to study medicine.
Initially, I was excited about being in
Medical school. In Part Two, I started reading big books. Then I started
getting used to the language of Anatomy, Medical bio-chemistry and
more. With time, I got used to it. To keep going, even as some people
were being withdrawn from medical school, I just had to hold my head
high. For someone like me that was getting many distinctions, keeping up
with the success story was tough. But I didn’t expect that my efforts
would result in such huge success. I only wanted to try my best and do
everything possible in my power to get things done.
What are your plans for the future?
I don’t want to comment on my plan for the future, but I am working on it.