Today, the 23rd of May 2018 makes it exactly a year since I embarked on my journey to Ondo State as a youth corps member to serve Nigeria.
An experience; not without its ups and downs. Permit me to share some of the positives takes from my service year to the nation.
1) NYSC – One year of Personal Development
This has to be the greatest thing about my one year of service.
At the beginning of my service year, I had to take an assessment of my life. I found out that I really had nothing in terms of skills to complement my B.Sc. certificate.
Even the certificate I had did not mean I could get my hands dirty when it came to the practical aspect of it.
So I took the bold step of learning digital marketing and web development.
Within this one year, I had to sacrifice my sleep at night virtually every day for some online courses. I also got certified in some.
This meant that I had to teach during the day (8am – 4pm) and develop myself with respect to my skill set at night (12am – 6am).
I took up some unpaid freelance jobs; about three in number which I did consistently. This helped me learn some basic lessons as a freelancer.
One year after my service, I’m about resuming work as the digital marketing officer of a firm in Lagos.
This was really not after some failures I encountered at some interview sessions.
In all, I see my one year of service as that time of life where I got paid for acquiring some additional skills.
Spiritually also, there was also massive time to invest in spiritual growth – time to pray and study God’s word like never before.
Those times were always refreshing time. Not 100 percent as maximized as I would have loved but I feel I didn’t do too badly in terms of making progress spiritually.
I wonder where else I would have that kind of time and opportunity again.
2) NYSC – An opportunity for relationships
NYSC also creates that platform to meet wonderful folks. Growing up in the south-western part of Nigeria, I really had not come across folks from certain regions of the country.
All I ever came across were narratives that described certain tribal groups. Stereotypes about certain groups were all I came across.
However serving as a corps member exposed me to some wonderful people from even the Northern part of the country.
I mean I met nice folks from the core northern part of the country. Though I struggled with their accents in some cases, I found it quite pleasurable relating with them.
I came in contact with some wonderful ladies. I mean ladies one could marry if he had enough money.. Lol..
So, one thing NYSC helped me do was to consciously erase some of the stereotypes I had in my mind already.
3) NYSC – An opportunity to take responsibility for one’s life
One thing I kept lamenting about was that nobody ever told me what growing up looked like.
Maybe, just maybe I would have given growing up a thought. Lol.
NYSC opened me up to the fact that I would stop receive cash from my parents. 😥😪
What a feeling! Though I did not stop disturbing my wonderful parents from the beginning(agbaya like me😪), the consciousness of being a man came upon me as time passed.
Managing 19,800 every month thought me financial wisdom to a very large extent.
Though I spent money on some not too important stuff, I had to face the consequences of being financially reckless. Lol ..
Calling home would make me look how? I thought to myself. I had to hold on to my ‘pride’ so I had to seek other ways.
On some occasions, members of my extended family came to the rescue.
So in essence, NYSC tells you, “You’ve got to be a man now”.
This, I adapted to in the long run.
These three things gives a general overview of some of the good side of service to my nation.
This is not my justification for not scrapping the whole NYSC scheme if some fixes cannot be made to the scheme.
What other things do you feel are positives from the NYSC scheme?
Please let me know in the comment section below.