I spent most of November 2019 in NYSC Orientation Camp,Asaya,Kogi state & honestly it was a roller coaster ride!!
After mobilization,the NYSC scheme begins with a 21-day orientation camp to prepare corps members for 1 year mandatory national service.
I got to the orientation camp on the 4th of November & began counting down to the last day of camp. Typing this,I literally miss camp but mehn,I missed sleep & free/civilian lifestyle.
Quick question before we proceed: Is the NYSC scheme a scam or a period of development?? 😄
While you think about the answer,let’s jump right to the 10 things NYSC orientation camp will teach you.
NYSC orientation camp taught me:
1) Timeliness– This was the first lesson I learnt in camp. Everything in camp is done at least 15 minutes before the actual time 😄 We wake up at 2/3AM. This is to enable us prepare for the general 5AM morning devotion. Breakfast is 8AM,lunch is 2:30PM and dinner is 7PM. For someone like me who struggles to keep to time,this was a wake up call for me.
2) Patience – Camp will teach you patience! 😄 You’d be living with people with different characters for the next 3 weeks(21 days) so there’s bound to be one misunderstanding or the other from time to time which can lead to vocal outbursts.
The only thing that would stop you from losing home training is patience. People would annoy you but it’s your job to decide how you react to situations.
3) NYSC will teach you to pay attention to your skills & abilities– I noticed this immediately I got to camp. While we were doing our registrations,the Social Committee made calls for corps members with interest/experience in event planning,event host MC,venue decoration,comedy etc.
Orientation Broadcasting Service(OBS) also made calls for broadcasters,news reporters,editors etc. I was privileged to be part of this team & I really learnt a lot. It’s important for you to build skill or experience in whatever area you have interest in as this will pave way for you in camp.
4) Conflict resolution- Conflict is bound to arise once in a while but how you handle conflict is actually what is important. I had a disagreement with a lady in camp & I would have lost an awesome,new friend but for intelligent conflict resolution skills. She’s one of the amazing people I met in camp. In fact,she took so much care of me when I fell sick.
5) Team work- You’d be placed in a platoon once you are through with your registration. A platoon contains at least 200 corps members. This is where you’d belong & from where you’d be able to participate in some key activities in camp like marching,man-o-war drills,choreography,choral,pageantry etc.
You will learn how to work in a team and how to accommodate the ideas of others. I learnt to work with people whose ideologies,beliefs & values are totally different from mine in ways where I do not disrespect them.
6) The true meaning of friendship- It was in camp I learnt the true meaning of friendship. Imagine people you are meeting for the first time running around to make sure you are healthy & sound at whatever cost. If that isn’t friendship,I don’t know what is.
It’s in camp I learnt that friendship means going the extra mile to ensure that person who camp has brought your way is alright no matter the cost.
7) Self-love: Good news! (inserts Winners Chapel clap here 👏🏾😄) NYSC supports body positivity fam!
There are different pageantries that celebrate body diversity.
If you are fat,there is Miss Big,Bold & Beautiful.
If you have fine legs, there is Miss Hot legs.
If you are blessed with abs,there is Mr Macho.
Permit me to chip in that all of these point to this quote : Love yourself,believe in yourself and pay attention to your strengths
8) Patriotism – It will teach you to appreciate other people’s culture,do away with stereotypes & set aside tribalism.
I had a glimpse of Kogi culture during the language classes. I had the opportunity of learning the basics of the 3 main languages spoken in Kogi state,Nigeria(Okun,Egbira & Igala). We even received a handbook to help us with Yoruba language.
9) Discipline– NYSC orientation camp forces you to do things at the right time,feelings or readiness notwithstanding. Permit me to say you had no choice,your time was literally planned in advance for you by the camp officials. Those who struggle with procrastination were forced to be disciplined or face punishment.
10) The importance of professional courses & skill acquisition in addition to university degrees – Different agencies & companies were given the opportunity to inform us about courses that are very much helpful to our degrees.
Courses like Project management,Safety courses,management courses, human resource management & public relations were introduced to corps members interested in boosting their degrees.
Skill Acquisition & Entrepreneurial Development(SAED)- Asides from the fact that a lot of us saw SAED classes as the only time we had to catch up on sleep,we learnt how important it is to be armed with at least one skill. Past corps members who have become employers of labour were facilitators of some classes & it only helped to prove how valuable skill acquisition is.
Special thanks to the following for their contributions:
• James Elechukwu,Thomas Wisdom Kalu,Enewan Sampson and the rest of OBS Asaya Orientation Camp,Kogi state who shared their lessons with me. I miss y’all too much!
• Obarhua Emmanuel of DubaiTourPro.com .Thank you so much!
Thanks for reading up to this point! You deserve a big hug 🤗
Have you served? Where do you hope to serve? Feel free to share your NYSC experience with me in the comment section,I’d love to read it 😍