I started the service year with a sense of uncertainty and anxiety as most Corp members, I heard different stories from different ex-Corps members on expectations and outcomes of the service year; the baseline wasn’t so encouraging, yet I was determined to make the most of it. Most of those I spoke to were females, who couldn’t forget in a hurry how physically gruelling the orientation camp was. To be on the safer sided I engaged in clement physical exercises prior to camping.

I was determined to make the service year count. I couldn’t emphatically say how, but I had an inner witness, I would do just that. The service year is a great time to plan and strategize, you have a monthly stipend to depend on and a job that probably gives you ample time to learn new skills or do something exciting. We create our future and the NYSC year is one of the best seasons to create that blueprint and here is how I managed to get that sense of fulfilment.

Understand the season: The scripture says, to everything, there is a season and a time to every purpose under the sun. The NYSC year is the season of “Service and Humility”, it’s the season to humbly and selflessly give back to society and country; it’s not the period for excessive self-indulgence or debauchery as some might imagine. Having this at the back of one’s mind helps one to wade through all the frustrations and disappointments one will surely encounter during the service year as well as through life. Living above self is a joy reserved for a select few, and NYSC is your pass to that class.

Harness your strengths and skills: We are all uniquely endowed with different skills and gifts. Right from orientation camp, the Orientation Broadcasting Service (OBS), Band, Red Cross, parade etc are opportunities to serve the Nation and community in our areas of strength. Be sure to join a Community Development Service (CDS) group that suits your person and PASSION as this will be your primary vehicle of service to the fatherland.

Learn new skills: The ease of life during and after service depends a great deal on our skills-set. The service year affords one the good fortune of learning new skills and acquiring extra certificates on the cheap and at our very door steps due to the good work  by the guys at the Skill Acquisition and Entrepreneurial Development (SAED) unit of the scheme. Take advantage of this and boost your CV and skills-set.

Avoid Laziness: for the most part, we create our own luck. Greater opportunities come to those who have mastered lesser ones. Reject postings to institutions where drudgery is the order of the day, as your abilities and potentials will degrade and rot. I want to use this medium to appeal to the management of the NYSC in Kogi state to eschew posting a high number of Corp members to ministries and their agencies in lieu of schools, as the isn’t  always much to do there, hence the Corp members waste away their prospects and capacity for the service year.

Enjoy the perks: yes you heard me! Enjoy the perks! Being a Corp member comes with its own perks: free rides, discounted fares, being treated as a paramilitary officer, access to government officials and institutions etc. For us in Editorial, Publicity and Rebranding CDS, Lokoja; we have been afforded the opportunity to impact students, anchor radio and TV programmes, and liaise with public and private officials as partners in progress; all thanks to Gen.Gowon’s vision-NYSC!

On this note, I say a hearty welcome to all the 2016 Batch A Corp members posted to Kogi state- the confluence of opportunities and actualisation. You only serve once #YOSO


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