We Asked 4 Nigerian Graduates To Share Their Post-NYSC Depression Experience

January 28, 2020
Post-NYSC depression

You’ve heard about post-NYSC depression, but it feels abstract to you. It’s just your passing out parade. You are elated. For starters, you’ll ditch the khaki and forget the nightmare that was CDS. You take a slew of pictures, both hands cradling your certificate stretched towards the camera. You’re also ambivalent. You say goodbye to the friends you made during your service year. You promise to keep in touch. You leave to face the real world. Slowly, you begin to realise how messy the job eco-system is and how real post-NYSC depression is.

This is an ongoing topic, so we asked four Nigerian graduates to share their thoughts about this syndrome:

Henrietta, 23

It’s funny how post-NYSC depression creeps up on you; one moment, you are anticipating a pay bump from the #19,800 allawee, the next thing, you’re fighting for dear life. I was so eager to see the end of NYSC that the thought that I might not find a job was pretty much non-existent. Like how hard can it be to find one? I came back home, excited for what I thought was coming. I sent out scores of applications. Not one got back to me.

Post-NYsc depression

The one or two that reached out turned out to be networking/GNLD gigs. Three months at home with no stream of income fed my frustration, and it started to consume me, then the depression came with it. I didn’t clock how dire my situation was until my dad started giving me #1000 every day. He meant well, but the more I accepted the money, the more I became disillusioned with my existence. This went on for six months until the first job came. Nobody should have to deal with such a strong feeling of helplessness. 

Kingsley, 23

I always kind of felt like I would have it rough after NYSC.  But then I got a lifeline about two months to the end of NYSC. A company I applied to got back to me and invited me to write their aptitude test. I served in the North, so I jumped on a bus and travelled to Lagos – I missed an end of month clearance because of this. They invited me for the interview, then the congratulatory email came two weeks later. Radio silence followed. They’d promised to let me know how to get my appointment letter and when to start work. They never did. When I followed up, they ‘regretfully’ told me that they would not be going with me, after all. No explanation. No apology.

This hit me profusely. I was beginning to think that I had my stuff on lock, so it was a big setback. Of course, the depression I thought I’d dealt with came rushing back in. I’m not sure how I survived it. Sure, I have a job now, but I still think of the road not travelled. And somehow, I feel like it was my fault. 

Ola, 25

Post-NYSC depression is as real as it gets. I lived through it for four months after NYSC. It’s hard to see your guys making moves and you’re there seeming not to make any progress at all. For me, the depression started to filter in when I moved back with my parents. That was a tough pill to swallow. It felt like I’d failed at this adulting thing before I even started. I had no choice, though, I went back to them and faced the scorn and mockery that came with it.

Post-NYSC depression

It was a dark time. I was so vulnerable, and it didn’t seem like I was going to climb out of the hole. I took a teaching job because it was that or nothing, but it saved my life. Getting out of the house every day did a lot to take my mind off the state of things. I don’t know if the depression is still there, but I’ve decided to keep it moving.

Bolanle, 22

I was there when my sister went through her post-NYSC depression phase, and I knew what it did to her. I was not going to be another number. The safest option was to go back to school, so I could buy myself more time. My masters’ application came through, but the session didn’t start until three months after NYSC ended. Luckily,  I got an unpaid internship. I took it because the point was to get busy. It was hard to watch my sister when she was stuck in that vicious cycle, and it’s hard to watch some of my friends who struggle with it now. Last-last, everyone will be alright, but I tell people to get busy, somehow. That’s the quickest fix.

You’ll also like this: All The Things That Happen Between The End Of NYSC And Your First Job

Join The Conversation

Bring a friend.

You'll like this

February 3, 2021

A week ago Unilag students resumed school virtually after a year of ghosting, radio silence and of course ASSU’s ever changing resumption date, which happened not once, not twice, but thousands. I am a 400 level student in this great university studying mass communication and here’s what my first week of virtual learning was like. […]

Watch

Now on Zikoko

May 17, 2022

Breadcrumbing is the unfair practice of giving just enough attention and affection to someone who cares about you to keep them interested. We rounded up a list of things to look out for in a potential love interest to avoid being breadcrumbed.

Recommended Quizzes

November 28, 2019

There are so many talented and stunning Nollywood actors that make it hard not to fall in love with them. So, while we all know the likelihood of us ending up with any of them is super low, it’s still fun to imagine a world where we actually stood a chance, and that’s why this […]

What are you like in a relationship?
February 7, 2020

Your taste in music can say a lot about you, and this time, it’s going to reveal what you are like in a relationship. So, pick a few of your favourite Nigerian love songs, and we’ll let you know if you’re typically a distant, passionate or unbothered partner. Here you go:

June 14, 2020

Have you ever been with someone so horrible that you swore to never date again? Yes? Well, do you know that one or more of your exes probably feels the same way about you? You never thought about that, huh? Thankfully, this quiz is here to let you know just how much of a hassle […]

November 11, 2019

Today, we are going to be using your taste in music to determine how good you actually are in bed. All you need to do is create the ultimate Nigerian hit — from the lead artist to the producer — and we’ll tell you if all your partners leave satisfied, or if you are just […]

November 19, 2019

Regardless of what society has tried to tell us, enjoying sex is not something to be ashamed of. So, in a bid to celebrate our generation’s sexual agency, we’ve created a quiz that will accurately (again, keep your complaints to yourself) infer how many people you’ve spelt with. Try it out: 11 Quizzes For The […]

More from Aluta And Chill

April 19, 2022

…project set to transform African youths into sustainable job creators In line with the commitment of Lagos Business School (LBS) to develop responsible entrepreneurs and promote business sustainability, the institution has partnered with Semicolon Africa and Henley Business School on the Nexus Project, funded by the British Council.  The objective of the project is to […]

Watch

Trending Videos

Zikoko Originals

December 14, 2020
What happens when a group of chatty young Nigerians talk about things they're passionate about? You get Nigerians talk. A show that discusses very familiar struggles for the average Nigerian. From relationship deal breakers to sex education with Nigerian parents to leaving Nigeria, be prepared for a ride.
November 2, 2020
'The Couch' is a Zikoko series featuring real life stories from anonymous people.
October 26, 2020
A collection of videos documenting some of the events of the EndSARS protests.
June 22, 2020
'The Couch' is a Zikoko series featuring real life stories from anonymous people.
June 22, 2020
Hacked is an interesting new series by Zikoko made up of fictional but hilarious chat conversations.
June 4, 2020
What happens when a group of chatty young Nigerians talk about things they're passionate about? You get Nigerians talk. A show that discusses very familiar struggles for the average Nigerian. From relationship deal breakers to sex education with Nigerian parents to leaving Nigeria, be prepared for a ride.
June 2, 2020
Quickie is a video series where everyone featured gets only one minute to rant, review or do absolutely anything.
May 14, 2020
Isolation Diary is a Zikoko series that showcases what isolation is like for one young Nigerian working from home due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
March 12, 2020
Life is already hard. Deciding where to eat and get the best lifestyle experiences, isn't something you should stress about. Let VRSUS do that for you.

Z! Stacks

Here's a rabbit hole of stories to lose yourself in:

Zikoko amplifies African youth culture by curating and creating smart and joyful content for young Africans and the world.
X