I am finally done with the NYSC chapter of my life so here I am, trying to write a recap of what might or might not have been a worthy experience. Spoiler alert: if you’re a newly deployed corps member, it’s probably not what you want to hear🤷🏾♀️.
So let’s see: one year of being “government property”, what did it get me? Was it worth it?
I’ll try to be as positive as I can by not saying it was an outright waste of time. Even if it was.
For those who might come across this post and not know what NYSC is about, here’s a little summary:
“The National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) is a program set up by the Nigerian government during the military regime to involve Nigerian graduates in nation building and the development of the country“.
They probably had “good intentions” in the beginning, but let’s be honest – it is not what it was meant to be anymore. Now, it’s just another means of frustrating and endangering the lives of youths, whilst siphoning funds to their own pockets.
There was a time I used to admire the uniform and those who wore it. Like kids that saw me in the uniform, I also wanted to wear it when I was young. That was before I grew up. Before you become fully aware of reality and the shit show Nigeria truly is.
For some, it might have actually turned out to be a good experience. Maybe it gave them opportunities they might never have gotten, or even opened up paths that they can now continue on. Whatever it was, at least they got something good out of it.
Me? I’m just super glad it’s over.
The NYSC Camp Experience
I was supposed to serve in 2020 after school, but then COVID happened and our lives were put on fast-forward. I got deployed to Lagos in July 2021 and I was indeed grateful. Not everyone is that lucky; some get sent to different unfamiliar states and some have lost their lives in the process. It’s really sad but again, the government do not actually care. They just want to keep the scheme for their own personal gains.
Anyways, once a stream is deployed, there is an orientation camp and corps members live at this camp for 3 weeks. I knew there was no way I could cope with the living conditions; despite the pandemic, they still felt comfortable cramping large numbers of people in poorly-ventilated accommodations. Fortunately for me, I could use my medical records to request for an exeat – this exempts you from staying in camp or participating in camp activities.
It was one of the best decisions I made; I fell sick barely a week after and it was much easier to take care of myself at home.
One Year of NYSC
Now that I’m writing this piece, I know I don’t want to relive the year lol. It did not just “flow by”; it was really tiring and I became more stressed. I even had to quit some of the things I enjoyed doing (content creation, etc), that was a personal choice though. There were other things I needed to focus on, decisions I needed to make, paths I needed to explore, etc.
The last few months of 2021 were the worst; I was truly in a state of mind that I had never been and it was scary. Eventually, I got past that, thanks to my family and friends. I started 2022 afresh, on a positive note and things started looking up for me. I prioritised things that needed to be done and the rest of the time was for me to just breathe.
Back to NYSC because I’ve gone off the rails again; so I was also in a particularly annoying CDS group. Although I did what was required of me, it was unnecessarily exhausting. If I had to do things all over again, I would not choose that group again. Ever.
Absolutely not worth it in any way, just like the entire NYSC scheme.
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I don’t have anything else to write abeg. It was not all that bad but it looks like I’ll just remember it as a bad dream that’s now over. Finally.
Till Next Time,
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