There are so many wrong notions about the NYSC scheme, the most common one should be the word, ‘Corper’ it really does not exist, even in your dictionary, *winks*.
That said, I’d write a separate article about misconceptions about NYSC. But for today, let’s check out these all important tips every prospective “Corper” needs to know.
- Be open minded: you’d be most likely posted to a strange state, I mean a state you’ve never been to before and have never imagined you’d ever visit. These are people with different values, tradition, and orientations. Don’t go there with a judgemental attitude, go with an open mind and they would most likely be friendly towards you too.
- How much you earn doesn’t matter, how much you spend is exactly what matters the most.
- Spend wisely: a proper knowledge of the local delicacies or locally grown food of the locality is an added advantage since it tends to be cheaper. Also look for a comfortable and affordable accommodation.
- Don’t be a loner: mix with the local people, attend religious gatherings, make friends, be open to discussions and don’t be that judgemental kind of person. This way, your hosts tend to absorb you as one of their own, this is very important for anyone who plans to have an awesome service year.
- Be positive: I’d personally advise that you do not go around complaining and criticizing every little thing you don’t like about your hosts and their environment, especially if you do not have feasible solutions to such problems. On the other hand, notice the good things, comment on them, blow them out of proportions and don’t go around living a life of complaint. It’s just ten months, don’t waste it complaining.
- Build social capital: try to make and maintain strategic relationships, don’t just be a traveler passing through. Meet people, get their phone numbers, visit them (if it’s safe), call them up. Basically, just build good relationships that would last. At this stage, we all know that the world is a small village and the most valuable currency in Nigeria is arguably social connection.
- Ask questions: usually it’s easier and more convenient to assume. my friend, do not assume! Ask questions, you’d be shocked at how willing people are to answer questions from a corps member, a graduate. Ask for the nearest yam market, the farthest vegetable market, the reason why no one follows a particular route on Thursdays and don’t forget to ask for the established taboos in your host community if any.
- Attend Community Development Service (CDS): if not because you want to positively impact your host community, then because you want to have a good time. CDS affords you the opportunity to meet fellow Corps members, chat them up, argue with them and build stable relationships. I never missed CDS o, there were many beautiful girls to be wooed, so many fun guys to hang out with, infarct I made most of my Corps Member friends from CDS. So why should I stay at home and miss CDS?