Emily is among the state's best for 2014
ROCKHAMPTON'S Emily Pryor spent much of the past year with her head buried in a book... but she didn't mind.
Emily, 17, said she would do more than 12 hours a week of extra reading on top of her school studies.
And the hard work has paid off.
The former Rockhampton Grammar School student, and Dux of 2014, was the only Central Queensland student, out of 26 students across the state, to be presented with an inaugural Distinguished Academic Achiever award by Queensland Education Minister Kate Jones.
Emily was presented with the award last month for her high achievements during her studies and receiving an OP1 last year.
Emily said she was shocked when she was told she had won the award.
"I was really surprised by it and I didn't think I did that well," she said.
"I found out in January about the award and I was really happy that all the effort I'd put into Year 11 and 12 paid off. I spent a lot of hours outside of school studying and did a lot of extra-curriculum activities, including some university courses.
"It's always been really easy for me to get a grasp on something and I think that helped a lot, but I also believe you don't get to achieve a lot of things if you don't put in the effort."
But the hard work and long study hours haven't stopped for Emily, who has started studying medicine at Monash University in Melbourne.
"I'm studying to be a doctor," she said.
"I've always loved chemistry and biology and since I was in Year 8, I've wanted to be a doctor. I'm really inspired by them.
"I've just started my five-year degree so I'll be studying for a while. I feel like I'm back in Year 12 chemistry, there's a lot of work ahead, but it will be all worth it."
EMILY'S STUDY TIPS
Keep on top of things; don't leave everything to the night before.
Try studying in a group and engage with other students.
Take a break every now and then to play sport or do an activity you love, it will help you de-stress.