Rocky school Dux has a bright future saving lives
Securing an OP1 was vital for Areeb Mahmood to one day be checking your vital signs.
The Rockhampton Grammar school student was another academic success story to emerge from the recent release of OP scores.
His OP1 was the natural consequence of landing the Dux prize for the best senior academic performance at the school in 2017.
As one of four Grammar students this year to snag an OP1, he shared his thoughts on achieving his academic ambition.
"I'm pretty ecstatic and happy, all that effort, all the commitment to studying actually paid off in the end,” Areeb said.
"Also being able to stay level headed and enjoy time with friends, that's probably the most important thing, not stressing too much and actually enjoying school as I go through it.
"In Grade 9, I realised where I wanted to go so I started from there but you really start trying in Grade 11, it's really important and you just work your way up from there.”
Areeb tried to describe how he felt looking at that OP1 mark on the computer screen at midnight on Saturday.
"I was just happy overall, there was a sense of calm that the result worked out in the end,” he said.
Areeb has locked himself in for the next challenge - medical school.
"I'm going to go into medicine, I'm still waiting to hear back from the universities,” he said.
"I've had a look at James Cook University and UQ in Queensland and UNSW in New South Wales.”
Talking about the appeal of studying medicine, Areeb said he was academically driven and medicine had that sort of drive and commitment to it.
"You're always learning and obviously you want to help people,” he said.
"I would love to go overseas with Doctors Without Borders.
"I think as a doctor, I would like to move into a rural location because there is more of a need for doctors in rural locations and I like a more personal connection with people.”
He advised year 11 students who were aspiring to secure an OP1 to set goals, but also to "study smart not hard”.
"It's easy to get distracted in Grade 12 and stressed but the moment you do that, things go downhill and you don't enjoy your time,” he said.
"Just study smart, keep your friends close and it will all work out in the end.”
He said that studying smart required short regular breaks doing something you enjoy, such as meeting up with friends or talking with family then coming back, re-energised and refocused, on the task at hand.