NYSC Passing Out Parade (POP) is a moment every corps member waits for. It is that final day when your one year of service officially ends and you are handed your certificate. For this post, I spoke to some corps members about their one year of NYSC — the joys, the moments, and what comes next.
ADEDAYO — “NYSC was fantastic but tiring.”
For me, NYSC was fantastic but tiring. I served in Oyo state, with the Nigerian Eagle Flour Mill. Work was full of drama, but I guess that is to be expected. Making new friends is not my thing, so it was hard making friends at first and also settling down generally. It got better when I became the President of the Press and Publicity Unit at the Local Government, and I had to do my job. This time, I spoke with people and they laughed all through because they never thought I could be humorous.
NYSC was quite a ride. I made new friends, and this is something that will stay with me for a long time. I fell in love and fell out of it, I documented my camp experience for the OBS. It was a fantastic, but tiring year.
On the morning of my POP, I walked into my kitchen, and made Jollof rice for my brother and friends around. We were going to throw a small party, play games and laugh. But we could not, so we just ate and laughed. After I collected my certificate later that afternoon, I hugged a few friends and almost started to cry. It hit me that some of these people are never going to meet me again. Everyone had a road before them, and even though this road was certain or not, we were all bound to take it anyway. NYSC POP felt like we were all dispersing into our separate roads, every one of us walking into our individual futures. And it made me feel something I could not define. Right now, grad school is next. While I wait, I hope to get a job on a media team.
ZAINAB — “I loved everything about NYSC.”
I enjoyed NYSC. I loved everything about it: the idea of serving my country, the anthem, the Khaki, CDS, everything. I am happy that I had the opportunity to be part of it. Perhaps my best experience was in camp. I had fun doing all the activities, especially the parade which was my favourite. It was amazing to see young people like me come together. I loved the idea that in that moment, we were a representative of Nigeria (regions, religions etc)
I served in FCT, at at Planned Parenthood Federation of Nigeria (an NGO that focuses on Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights information and services). I am really glad this happened. The experience I had led me to discover my passion for sexual and reproductive health and rights. Now that I’m done, I see opportunities and not just jobs. I can pursue my MSc., I can do anything I want to do at this moment, without feeling pressured to get a job next month, for example. My plan is to intern for the organization I served at, while I count down the months leading to my post graduate academic year. I also plan to start a YouTube channel on Sexual and Reproductive health this June. The future holds a lot of exciting things for me and I cannot wait to explore them all.
NDUKA — “NYSC was uneventful for me.”
I had a pretty uneventful service year. Yes, was really nice, but there wasn’t any stand-out moment. I’m glad it is over. Now, I can focus on the next chapter of my life. I am hopeful about all that is coming next. I served at an advertising agency, and I have been retained there. I am going to continue working for them for the forseeable future.
EMEKA — “NYSC gave me a clearer idea on how free I can be if I let myself try.”
I served in Plateau state. My PPA was a secondary school in NAMU, Qua’an-Pan LGA. At first I thought I would not enjoy the place because there was no power, but after a while, it became home for me. The warmth and love and relatively cheap food drew me in.
I think I learned about myself more. NYSC was a time of self-reflection for me. Although I won’t say I had this eureka moment when I knew what my life was about and what to do next, I would say NYSC gave me a clearer idea of how free I can be if I let myself try.
I remember how I resented the idea of spending a year away from my family. But looking back now, I think it was worth it. I met different people from different tribes and I made amazing friends and memories. I remember this time I asked my SS2 students to write a love letter to themselves. They wrote personal confessions, dreams and struggles, and it was touching to see them openly talk about their future and fears and hopes. It felt good to know that these kids, even with their poorly written pieces, had dreams and were willing to make sacrifices for those dreams. It is a memory I will forever hold on to.
Right now, I feel good that it is over — NYSC Passing Out Parade and everything. I feel happy, fulfilled. The main question now is ‘What Next’, but the honest answer is that I have no idea. People plan these things, but me, I don’t know. I’m sort of like flotsam right now. Wherever the water leads me, I’ll go. Not like I know where it will lead, yet I hope it takes me to a good place.
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