It’s another Saturday and thank you for stopping by! We continue this week with another narrative (and the last of the series) of an NYSC experience written by Engineer and entrepreneur, Tosin Farai. Enjoy!
I’ve been a Corp Member for about 3 months, and one thing I’ll say is that this has been the quickest season of my life so far.
I was to resume camp on Tuesday and I just found out I was posted to Enugu on Saturday night. Needless to say, I was in shock. We had ‘worked’ Ogun state and my whole family was in shock with me. So my first advice to Prospective Corp Members is PREPARE YOUR MIND FOR ANYWHERE.
If you think you’re the only one that knows someone that will help you work your posting, that someone probably knows like 50 others who want to work, and that someone is also one in a thousand others who know someone else and can work things. Simply put, you’re not the only one.
I was however, a bit excited afterwards. All suited and packed for Awgu Orientation Camp, Enugu. I got there, it wasn’t far from my imagination, wasn’t a good looking place, there was this crazy hill I’d have to be climbing constantly for the next 3 weeks of my life. One good thing though, I came with an open mind, to meet new people and just be a good version of myself for those weeks.
I came with a friend from my University, we were already close, so that made things easier. Another advice, as much as you’re trying to mix with a new crowd, stay close to the ones you knew already, you’ll be less lonely that way and trust me, it’s easier (and safer) to mix in groups rather than you mixing alone. That’s what we did. We both joined OBS (Orientation Broadcast Station), there’s one of those in every camp. If you’re into tech, you write, or do some OAP things, then you should probably join them, you’d meet like minds and camp would be more enjoyable.
OK, the food…I never really ate in the cafeteria, I’m not so choosy with food, I really don’t mind most times, but this one, I couldn’t eat there much, food was mostly not fully cooked and the line was always so long that they’ll blow the beagle before it was even my turn, and then I’d have to start climbing up that silly hill only to rush the food I didn’t even like. Nah, maami market was for me. I of course had to manage money, so I and my guys found the cheaper vendors with good food and just found easier ways around eating.
You’d have to come out by 4:30 AM, meaning you must have bathed and dressed (and done your makeup if you do) before 4:30 cause some disrespectful officers will come and cause trouble for you. At first, I’d wake by 3 to bath but then, so many others would be squeezing in the bathroom, I hated that, so I started bathing the night before when the bathroom was empty, then bring out clothes for the next day so I’m ready in about 10mins. I could wake by 4.
I was almost forced to do Miss NYSC, in fact, I sort of disappointed my platoon coordinators and it seemed like I was disrespecting them or being proud for saying no. That’s another advice, don’t let anyone force you to do something you don’t want to do. You graduated yourself, you made it to NYSC, enjoy it on your own grounds. One can deceive you and say you’ll get correct PPA, or that they would be your LGI afterwards and you don’t want trouble, this and that. Don’t let anyone deceive you. If you don’t want to do something, don’t do it. Don’t get me wrong, if they ask you to do something and you are interested, please go for it, I just didn’t want to.
Also, don’t get carried away. You might have been given some leadership duty, don’t forget yourself, or you might meet someone that looks like the bff you’ve been waiting for, but remember that all good things take time. You might have that position after camp, so yh then you can be extra, or you might still keep the relationships after camp (focus more on that), then you can get personal. Also, like someone told us, “3 weeks is too short to show people your bad side”, so just be free and don’t overdo anything abeg.
All in all, remember to find your kind of people (you will) and enjoy them for the 3 weeks. Get involved in whatever way you can, avoid trouble and just have a good time. It’s a 3 weeks you’ll never get back, I know the environment will likely be bad like mine was (pit latrines, sick bathroom etc), but you’ll enjoy yourself better if you just find fun and have it. You can also say you’re sick and go home.
I eventually redeployed to Ogun state and I’m currently here now, it’s another journey again, but the principles are the same.
Tosin Farai is a graduate of Civil Engineering, University of Ibadan. She’s currently serving in Abeokuta, Ogun state. She also runs a business, is building a career in software development and loves to write.
We hope you learned a thing or two from Tosin’s narrative? Thank you for coming on the #NYSCdiaries experience with us. If you found the series helpful, please tell others about it. Also, we would love to hear your suggestions on areas you would like us to blog about or authors you’d love to read from.
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