Friday, May 26, 2017

POST NYSC|| AN EX OTONDO GUIDE TO MAKING THE MOST OF YOUR SERVICE YEAR


What are you doing presently?
How come your company didn't retain you?
These are few of the questions friends and family have been asking since I completed my service in April and my response being "I am seeking better opportunities".

NYSC is a programme that has lost its essence and actual significance. A programme that was established in 1973 to promote national integration but somehow that is not the current reality of the programme. (You can argue in the comment section if you think otherwise).
I don't want to even begin to scrutinise the programme itself and as much as I want it to be scrapped completely, believe me, I have prayed fervently about this matter. I have finally accepted that the programme cannot be scrapped for numerous reasons that I chose to not discuss in this post.

While there may be many downsides, there are also upsides of the programme. Sometimes you just have to look at the positive rather than dwell on the negative aspect.

I always knew what I wanted before my service year even started. An opportunity where I could learn and make the most of one year, no way I was going to be a bum during my service year. Having a plan didn't guarantee anything but it was an important step. There were a few times when my plan was flawed and I faced a couple of challenges but God worked it all out for me in the end.

If you are an ardent reader of my blog, I am sure you read about my camp experience here and also a few of the struggles I faced after leaving camp.


My service year wasn't so rosy in fact, it was a mix of the good, bad and ugly. My apologies to everyone that listened to all my sad stories, complaints and gossip and to everyone that provided more than a listening ear aka my all round support system ( Thank you. Y'all know you are the real MVPs). My service year was a rollercoaster. At some point into my service year, it seemed like I had it all figured out but things changed, disappointments happen because our expectations fail to match our reality.

It feels like it was just yesterday I was packing my bags and leaving for camp but truly a year has actually gone, service is finally over. I know how you are feeling right now, years of hard work finally paid off. After months of anticipation and expectation, the moment has finally arrived, you are going to camp, you have embarked on your NYSC journey. 

Fear, anxiety, happiness, uncertainty, indifference etc just a few of how you are feeling right now and I am guessing you have a lot of questions concerning your new journey, right? Perhaps you were posted to a different state away from home, you are leaving home for a new place, meeting new people and learning new traditions. Research is very important especially if you have no intention of redeploying.

As an ex otondo I believe I am qualified to dish out a few tips on how to make the most of your service year. The first thing you have to do or better still the first question you have to answer is, how do I want to make the most of my service year?

Your service year shouldn't just be about you serving your country, It should also be about self-service. It is a time when you get to view the world differently, exhibiting a lot of independence aka adulting, reflecting on your past experiences, learning new things and planning for the future. 

NYSC is a once in a lifetime opportunity, you don't get a do-over so make the most of it. This is quite imperative as it can form a crucial part of your life. 

Here are a few tips to help you out.

1.Network: The importance of networking can never be overemphasised. "Your network is your worth". Start networking from camp, you don't know who can contribute/be a part of your success story. Try and mingle and make friends. This wasn't so easy for me because I am not the type to make friends easily and if I am being honest with you I didn't make a lot of friends during my service year, people accused me of being proud and all but that's just my nature. My shyness was mistaken for something else and maybe I am not the best example for this case but it is very very important to build and grow a very productive network, emphasis on productive.

2. Learn: This is probably the biggest highlight of my service year. My service year afforded me the opportunity to learn about new things. I was posted to Ogun state and I was able to learn about new people, new tradition, new places. As an advocate of self-growth, I believe learning is an important element of being productive and successful. You can take an online professional course, loads of free online courses (I could recommend a few, let me know if you are interested). You can apply/register for SAED. It's a skill and acquisition entrepreneurship development programme that provides you with various opportunities to learn different technical skills (Hairdressing, Wig making, Make-up, Fashion designing/dressmaking, photography, etc) and the best part it is affordable.

3. Save: NYSC marks the beginning of your adulting journey, for some of us we have been exposed to adulting much earlier and for those of us that are just starting out. Welcome to your new reality, where you have to fend for yourself and it gets worse after service year so you have to start saving for the rainy days. Learn to spend and manage all your funds judiciously, there is no excuse that your income is too little. You can invest in profitable things that can yield return (ROI). The fear of life after service is the beginning of wisdom, so start saving your allawee for the rainy days.

4. Try and earn extra cash: Put on your thinking cap and start thinking of lucrative ways to earn extra cash.You can come up with a business idea(s), start after classes lessons for those of you that get posted to schools. Make sure you put your skill(s) to good use. An extra source of income will go a long way.

5. Explore: If there is anything I regret about my service year, I guess it that I never got to explore or visit any cool place(s). Would you believe me if I told you that I never got to visit Olumo rock? I never did and I still regret it. Our country Nigeria is blessed with different historic sites and cool tourist centres. I guess I can blame my lack of enthusiasm to explore on not having a lot of friends and the few I had were not adventurous. In the course of your service year, try and explore, create beautiful memories and make sure you visit these places with friends.

I almost forgot to include put God first in all things and have fun, don't let it overwhelm you. I'm guilty of this, my service year was probably the most tedious period in my life. The transition so far hasn't been so easy, sometimes I forget that my NYSC journey is over and I literally have to pinch myself to remember this. I miss the N19,800 (inserts crying emoji) the struggle to get the money, not so much.

Above all, my NYSC experience was a beautiful one. A lifetime opportunity that I was fortunate to be a part of. I'll forever treasure all the memories, the lessons and the whole experience in general.

To those of you asking what I am doing currently? I am discovering myself, learning new things and seeking opportunities where I can grow and learn.
 Have  I been applying for jobs? Yes, I have. So far I haven't gotten any positive feedback yet but I am still optimistic. I know there's something big out there for me and God is preparing me for it. 


What are your thoughts on NYSC programme?
Have you gone for service? Currently serving or completed service?
How was your service year?
How did you make the most of your service year? 
Feel free to share your experience!!!

P.S- Don't forget to share this post with a friend. Thanks for stopping by.

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20 comments on "POST NYSC|| AN EX OTONDO GUIDE TO MAKING THE MOST OF YOUR SERVICE YEAR"
  1. Nice nice post. It's also very applicable to even normal university life. Enjoyed reading it and i'd be sharing the link with my sister. She's currently serving in Ogun too. The best is coming hun. You look nicee in that picture. 😍
    Www.laitanbee.com

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  2. Babes you couldn't have said it better. I already had an idea of how the service year was going to be so I didn't expect less. It was fun, stressful and insightful. I made new friends and I'm so glad, I explored, I experienced a whole new environment and I have little regrets. Keep discovering yourself that Job will come eventually. You can still visit Olumo rock you just have to plan it as its not far from Lagos. If you intend to go I'm totally down I really want to go again and take bomb pictures for the gram 😉

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    1. Exploring is still one of my biggest regrets, that 8-5 life was too stressful but I can't complain because I chose that life. I'm down for a visit to Olumo rock, I'll text you so we can plan better.

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  3. Aww I love this post. Thanks for the tips for soon to be Otondos and May God grant you your heart desires!

    Subomi|My Fashion Musings

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    1. Thanks for stopping by dear. I'm so glad you enjoyed reading it.

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  4. Interesting tips. Ogun state is a lovely place. I wish you explored more. Cool state, slow paced, awesome Ofada rice and sauce,loads of adore fabrics and the rest. In all I'm glad you learned a thing or two and deem it fit to share and help others. Kudos!

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    1. Yeah very slow paced and best ofada rice and stew. Your comment has got me craving some of that ofada rice and stew.

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  5. First of all. I can't begin to explain how much I hate hearing those two questions already. People should just leave me if they don't have opportunities for me.

    Love the post. NYSC was an opportunity I feel like I didn't make the most of especially the "Explore" aspect. I ran away from camp straight into the 9 - 5 struggle & the one year just went like that. Too many vital tips here ( I didn't listen to the savings part. Totally flexed both my allawee and salary each month)

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    1. Annoying is the best word to describe it, they start giving you a lecture like you are wasting your life. Just because you can't see all the effort I am making doesn't mean I am not making any. Give me a job already since you don't think I am making any effort to get one.
      Exploring would have definitely been the biggest highlight. Lol it is safe to say your service year was your trial and error period. You can apply these tips now and I'm glad you found them helpful.

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  6. That was so inspiring. Few months left for me in the service year but my experience so far has been one of a kind. It has been an opportunity for self development and reorientation on my musical journey. Only gets better as long as I remain optimistic. More power to your elbow Praise.

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    1. Thanks dear. I'm so glad you are best of your service year. Testiminies like yours gives us faith in the programmme. God bless you

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  7. I am seriously still praying it gets scrapped before I graduate. It has lost its purpose. Thank you for these tips dear. Will definitely keep them in mind.


    Thestreethaute.wordpress.com

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    1. You are welcome Collins. I am glad you found them useful.

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  8. Lovely write up...networking was key for me...as for culture learning, there were some really awkward stuff I encountered...also engaged in reading...especially personality related...keep doing what you love, wish you all the best

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  9. Lovely writeup...its been a while since have been here, the site looks WOW!!!... Networking was key for me during my service year, witnessed some weird cultural moments, engaged in reading especially on personality traits, my service year wasn't as grand as I expected but it was quite an experience... Keep doing what you love best ILAMOSI, I wish you all the best.

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  10. Very useful tips for soon to be corpers like me. I love the post...... Thanks.

    www.lydiaschronicle.com

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  11. Very useful tips for soon to be corpers like me. I love the post...... Thanks.

    www.lydiaschronicle.com

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