Ukpe Priscilla Utibe Abasi the most beautiful, brilliant, elegant student emerged as the best graduating student at the Department of Physiotherapy, University College Hospital (UCH). In this interview, She spoke to grapevine about her challenges, what kept her going, among other things.

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What were the challenges you faced back in school?

There were challenges right from 100-level through 500-level. It wasn’t easy, but I don’t think there was a point I felt like quitting school, because I knew my aims and what I wanted. I crossed to Physiotherapy in 200-level from the Department of Physiology.
I took a total of 17 courses and I had to take lectures from one end of University of Ibadan to the other. The biggest challenges came in 400-level because bulk of the workload in Physiotherapy is in 400-level. And in 500-level, I had to couple research works, projects and seminars with my spiritual responsibilities. It wasn’t easy but Jehovah, determination and hard work kept me going.

Why did you cross from Physiology to Physiotherapy?

I’ve always wanted a health profession that would enable me attend to patients and work with people in a clinic setting. My dream course was medicine, but when I didn’t get Medicine, I settled for my second choice, which was Physiology. After 100-level, I still couldn’t get Medicine and then, somebody introduced Physiotherapy to me, I decided to give it a trial and really, it turned out to be a good decision.

Were you involved in other activities besides academics in school?

Not so many. I was just a member of the Physiotherapy editorial board, I had church activities too. I had to preach from house to house as a regular pioneer. I had to make a quota of 70 hours in a month. I’d say I did well to strike a balance between my academics and other activities.

What does it take to be the best student in Physiotherapy Department?

Setting your priorities right together with hard work, diligence, commitment, determination and of course, prayers.

What would you say was your most challenging moment in school?

That would be examinations.

You hated examinations?

No, I don’t. Examinations bring me up on my feet. My journey through medical school has taught me that the journey to the top is not as difficult as remaining on top. When I realised I was topping the class, I didn’t want to come down. I was a lot more determined and I told myself that since I could get that high, I could remain up there and Jehovah was behind me too.

You are elegant, how did you manage to avoid the opposite sex all through?

There is no way you can avoid them totally, they will always come.

How easy was it for you to top your class and also combine other activities off the class?

It was easy to some extent. It depends on the individual. For me, it wasn’t really a big problem because I had my priorities set out from the beginning. I made sacrifices to get to where I am today and I tried as much as possible to avoid distractions. If you are determined and you know what you want, I think you should be able to close your eyes to distractions.

How would you describe yourself?

I am a passionate young lady with a lot of drive to succeed who equally fears Jehovah. I watch movies, read novels and I also surf the net. I am basically driven by biblical principles to guide my actions because I am not perfect.

What role did your parents play on your road to success?

Apart from the help of Jehovah, I don’t think I would be able to make it without the support, love, care and prayers from my family members. I pray Jehovah grants my parents long life to enjoy the fruits of their labour.

What was your CGPA?

I had five distinctions out of six subject areas. We have about six subject areas and each of them has different courses under them. You need an average of 70 and above to make a distinction.

What next after school?

Internship for one year and then NYSC. We’ll see what happens after that. My internship is automatic with UCH as the best graduating student.

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