April 20, 2024

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From Unexpected Beginnings To Triumph

By Ithiel Afolayan, Adepoju Adekunle, Akinola Saheed and Bankole AbdurRoheem

Babatunde Salako, CMUL BGS.

The Best Graduating Student of the College of Medicine, University of Lagos: a title Babatunde Salako hadn’t set out with the intention of achieving. While speaking with our reporters, he shares his story and journey to becoming the BGS of his set. 

“One thing I don’t do is competition,” he said, stating he had been wary of the competition that came with trying to earn the title. However, after getting 5.0 GP in his first and second semesters, he realised he had the potential to excel. Motivated by his success, he decided to stay consistent, which eventually became a reality.

He also discussed the routines he had to undergo to maintain his CGPA. Transitioning into the College of Medicine with a perfect grade gave the impression he wanted to keep. “It was a drive to do better,” he said. He dedicated hours to studying, and when not sleeping or doing other essential things, he was always in his reading element. “That pattern ensured that every day, I read something, no matter how little.”

Babatunde also doubled as a tutor while at the College of Medicine. Aside from the religious activities he participated in, it was his primary extracurricular activity to the best of his abilities.  “It was more of a blessing than a distraction,” he said when asked how he juggled his duties and academics. He saw tutoring as an opportunity to read things in line with his core courses. 

When asked about his advice to students who seek to achieve the same feat, he emphasised the importance of consistent study and urged them to shun competition. “If you reduce the amount of competition, you will be able to work better and even achieve more things. You would be able to interact freely and gain as much as possible from them. Three basic things, stay consistent in your studies, start as early as possible, and try to shun competition, it doesn’t help.” 

Going on, he gave ample credit to his lecturers and mentioned that he had lecturers who influenced him in every class. To mention a few, Dr. Agabi, a consultant and neurologist in the Department of Internal Medicine, and Dr. Olumide Elebute, a consultant and pediatric surgeon in the Department of Surgery. “They kind of gave a positive example to me and they gave me that reason to always feel like despite the frustration one faces as a medic in this part of the world, you can still relate well with people that are coming after you as well as the patients that you see.” 

He encouraged students to “..as much as possible, maximize your studentship” in his parting words. By that, he meant to take advantage of opportunities, fellowships, and internships only available to students. “You need to prioritize your academics, good grades don’t come by chance. They come from being hardworking,” he concluded. 

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