I can vividly remember the joy I experienced when I got to year 5 during my undergraduate days. I was joyful because I was close to going for National Youth Service Corps. This is one of the times every Nigerian student long for. A time you have prayed for and even dreamed about.
There is a kind of sensation people feel when they see a Corps member or sit down beside a Corps member wearing the “kaki”. A silent prayer that goes like “Lord let me also wear this kaki” runs through one’s mind. Wearing that “kaki” in Nigeria signifies success and achievement.
However, post NYSC experience isn’t palatable for most Nigerian graduates compare to their experience during NYSC. And the reason why this is so is that many Corps members failed to maximize the opportunity the scheme present and fail to understand the scheme mission statement.
Let me share the first-hand stories I have had with Corps members during and after my service year
The first one was a time I was with a female friend during a Masters class at the University of Ibadan. The two of us served together in Sokoto state. She told me that the money she used as tuition fee for her Masters was the money she realized during service year and even she stayed back at Sokoto for a year after her service. She went further to say that she collected NYSC loan to start clothing business in Sokoto state and made some cool money. I marveled when she revealed that to me.
The next one was a lodge mate during service year that saved her NYSC monthly allowance for the whole year. He used the money to travel to Dubai. Travelling out of the country has been a dream for him.
One of the shocking experiences I have heard was Corps members that returned home with almost nothing at hand. Most Corps members fall into this category.
Some Corps members maximize this period to prepare themselves for job aptitude test and interview. Some of them got employed in a multinational company while serving while the rest got immediate employment after service.
Lastly, some Corps members used that period to network and make good friends. And the friends they have made have helped them in life.
For you to have a good NYSC experience embrace the steps below:
Design your life
You must have a cause or pattern you want your life to follow. And you must see to it that your day to day living follows that cause.
Do you desire to work in a multinational company? If yes, start preparing for aptitude test and interview during your service year.
Do you want to be an Entrepreneur? If yes, use your service year to save and source for the fund. You can take up additional work aside from your place of primary assignment to increase your monthly income and savings. I will advise you start that business while serving so that you would have use NYSC year as a learning curve.
Do you want to further your study abroad? If yes, use your service year to write GRE/IELTS/TOEFL and also search for international scholarships both online and offline.
The key thing is that don’t waste your service year on riotous living. Post NYSC has never been a good experience if you haven’t prepared adequately for it.
This has helped me a lot. The friends I made during NYSC have been a blessing to me and even I met my wife during NYSC. Some of my friends are now in good places and the link is still strong.
Don’t isolate yourself; connect with good people from every tribe and tongue. You can’t tell whether the friend you made during service year will be the one to help your business or career.
On a final note, make NYSC experience count positively in your life.
If you want to know more about NYSC orientation, registartion, camping, etc. visit NYSC official website http://www.nysc.gov.ng/
Check the Mission Statement of NYSC below:
- To build a pragmatic organization that is committed to its set objectives with the ultimate goal of producing future leadership with positive national ethos-Leadership that is vibrant, proud and committed to the unity and even development of the Nigeria State.
- To be at the fore front of National development efforts, as well as serve as a profitable platform for imparting in our youths values of nationalism, patriotism, loyalty and accountable leadership.
- To raise the moral tone of our youths by giving them opportunity to learn about high ideals of national achievement, social and cultural improvement.
- To develop in our youths attitude of mind acquired through shared experience, and suitable training which would make them more amenable to mobilization in the national interest.
- To ensure Nigerian youths acquire the spirit of self-reliance, a reliable source of economic empowerment and effective participation in nation building.
- To develop an organization that is alive to its responsibilities and responsive to the needs of the country.