NYSC will soon finish. NYSC go soon end. NYSC will soon become history.
Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah. That bliss of eventually dumping khaki for good. Your total freedom given to you on a piece of paper. CDS becomes a thing of the past. You can travel for more than two weeks without pass or the fear of your LGI serving you with query once you return. No fear of the proprietor, principal or boss at your PPA breathing down your neck because you didn’t return to work after CDS meeting. None of that at all. You are finally a free human. You have successfully crossed over to adulthood.
After a month or two. The bliss that came with your eventual freedom starts to fade. It starts with;
BOREDOM: You are always bored because you have nothing tangible to do aside pressing your phone, watching t.v. and hanging out with your friends who are equally bored. Later, you start feeling empty. What can you use to fill that emptiness you feel? You don’t know because you are too scared to even know. You want to be responsible but you are also scared of being responsible.
This continues in a monotone until your parents or a nosy neighbour or relative starts asking what is next after your service year?
‘Bayo so what is next now?’
‘My daughter is currently running a professional course. What about you?’
FRUSTRATION: Your frustration starts when suddenly all your acquaintances start winning. Getting engaged, getting married, enrolling for a masters degree, securing a job in an oil firm, traveling overseas on scholarship, becoming a celebrity while you are there with your phone in hand following up on everything on their social media pages.
THE BLAME GAME: You start reconsidering your life choices. You blame your destiny. You blame the grade you graduated with. You blame your skin tone. You blame the colour of your teeth. You blame AIRTEL. You blame yourself. You blame the shoe maker. You blame Stormi Webster. You blame everything for your woes.
NAGGING FROM PARENTS: Then your parents start their own, by getting pissed at every little thing you do.
‘Es, please the way you are drinking that juice is disturbing my ear.’
‘How will you know Saraki is contesting for president when you don’t go out to work.’
‘The price of tomato paste has increased but you can’t know that. Since you are not buying it.’
‘You will just be there sleeping and eating. You don’t have shame?’
DISSAPOINTMENTS: You decided to call your mum’s brother after much insults. He always drummed it in your ears that he can find something for you after school. You called him and told him. He told you to come see him. You go and he told you to wait. You wait for hours then he told you to go home and come back. You returned the next day. You waited for hours. He told you to go home and come back the next day. You returned the next day… After endless circle of excuses and bush beating. You realize your uncle never had anything for you. You curse your luck and return home dejected. You try applying for jobs by yourself but you have no long legs or connection.
LOITERING: Then you start spending your days at the barbershop or the stall down the street. You go there to sit around 10am in the morning. Return home around 3pm. Stroll out around 5pm. Return finally around 8pm. You do anything. Anything not to be in your parents faces.
Frustration made you contemplate Yahoo. Engaging in online scam. Being a runs babe. But home training keeps holding you back.
DEPRESSION: Months of being utterly jobless took it toll on you, you feel useless. Having to beg your siblings or friends for petty cash, made you feel worthless. The side eyes your parents give you anytime you go out, eat, change the television or press phone made you feel unwanted. Come to think of it. Even your bae has been acting up because you just don’t have an answer whenever bae asks ‘what’s the plan now?’
You feel hopeless.
When you find out you just can’t get a job no matter what. You decide to go and learn tailoring/graphics/automobile work just to keep yourself busy. You, a graduate of History and International relations. Who was hoping to find a job at the Nigerian embassy. With your big big dreams.
You thought everything will be easy after NYSC. Alas! It wasn’t.
PS – Dear corp members, have a plan. Any plan before the passing out parade. Do not think things will fall into place after service year. Post NYSC depression is real but you can always avoid being a victim. By having a plan!
Your time starts now.