NYSC: 8 ways to cope with life after youth service

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After years at the university, many Nigerian youths have to take on the NYSC program for another year. For many, it’s a year to anticipate, with the khaki, the green jacket, and the little money that comes with it. While for others, the NYSC is a waste of time. Regardless of how we feel about this program, the truth is we all must do it as Nigerians and if we want to work in the country.

So what happens next after NYSC ends? For many of these youths, the reality is uncertain; while few manage to secure a good-paying job, a majority struggle with the job hunt process. The difficulty in securing a decent job in Nigeria has left many young people frustrated, that some suffer depression.

Therefore, to be on a safer side as a Nigerian youth, you must know how to cope after NYSC. Managing after services would be less stressful if you start making plans for it from now, here are some tips that would be of help.

8 Tips to help you cope with the life after NYSC

1. Have a Plan

You need to figure out what you want to do after your year of services and do proper planning towards making it work. Lack of adequate planning would leave you clueless, confused and disoriented along the way. See this one year of service as a preparation for life after, this mindset would help you plan.

First, figure out what you want to do:  Are you going to starting your own business? Would you want to further your education with a master’s degree? Would you like to leave the country? Whatever it is you want to do you need to make up your mind and be conscious of a plan, take some time out to figure out your passion and what you want, and then make plans toward that direction.

However, this doesn’t mean you can’t change your mind later. Having a plan only gives you a clear perspective of life after services, and would make it easier for you to cope after NYSC

2. Start Saving from Month One

One of the things many youths enjoy about the service year is the allawee, a small amount of money set aside by the government for their upkeep. Depending on where you serve, the particular amount you receive may vary. However, you can be sure to receive #33,000 from the federal government every month. If you’re lucky, you may earn an extra #10,000 if you work for some private bodies and NGOs.

NYSC

Knowing the unfriendly reality that awaits majority of youths after service, you should consider saving up for your plan, even if you didn’t save enough from this allawee, the little you can go a long way in surviving the next year.  If you are primarily dependent on the allawee during your NYSC service year, you can decide to save as little as #5,000 in every month, and this would amount to #60,000 in a year.

Though you might think its small, there are a ton of small capital businesses you can start with that amount. However, if you have another source of income which you can survive with during that year, you can decide to put aside the whole #33,000 aside. That would amount to #396,000 in a year, which is quite enough to help you invest in a medium-sized business in the country.

3. Cope with Depression during and after NYSC

The NYSC year can be very depressing sometimes, mostly if your PPA happens to be unfavourable for you. Also, the pressures of searching for a job can make it difficult to cope with mental health after NYSC. The scary thing about this phase is that many youths are unsure about how their life would turn out after services.

This uncertainty can often leave them depressed and anxious about their future. At this point, staying calm and focused on the plan you’ve made out for your life is the most important thing right now.

Depression can often lead to some detrimental physical and psychological effect. As much as possible, prioritize your health over every other thing; eat healthily, focus on fitness, surround yourself positive people with like mind. These are some tips that can help you cope with your mental health at this point in your life.

4. Build a connection

If you were unable to make any relevant connection while in the university, another opportunity for you would be the three weeks at the NYSC orientation camp. You would be with about 2000 people in one compound for 21 days, people from all over the country with different areas of specializations, connections and network. So be sure you interact and get to know people as much as possible. You never know who would be of help with their contact, to help you secure a job or pursue your career.

5. Start job hunt before you finish service

With your plan in mind, you already know where you want to be and what you want to do after service. One way to get started is to carefully select your Primary Place of Assignment (PPA), if possible, select a place where you can easily be retained as staff or specialist in your field.

Don’t be one of those trying to get PPA in the area where there’s no hope of retention. Do your careful research to find the right place that would pay well (additional allowance) and may likely retain your if you are of good conduct. Knowing all this might make coping after NYSC so much easier.

6. Work Hard and Smart

Do not see the NYSC service year as a waste of time like most of your peers; it is one year experience that can change your financial status if you work hard and smart. During your service year, you can seize the opportunity to learn a new skill, learn more about your industry, and even make money if you have the chance.

Whatever you find yourself doing, you want to be the best at what you do, and also make the best out of it at the same time. So regardless of how insignificant it might seem, do your work well, and to the best of your ability. However, also try to streamline your efforts to your goals and plans; this is where working smart comes in play. The ability to cope and succeed after NYSC depends on making sure all your hard work pays off.

7. Build a Strong CV

Creating a strong C for yourself is a must-do if you want to make the job-hunting process easier for you. What many youths fail to realize today is that most employers are after individuals with soft skills, such as communication skills, closing skills, leadership skills, etc. If you want to thrive in this modern economic world, one must possess more than a university degree, so to make things easier for yourself, you must learn some new skills.

Learn how to speak an additional language, learn to code, learn to use the internet and social media, attend seminars and take online courses. Make yourself stand out among the thousands of graduate your set produced. Regardless of how strong your university result is, building your CV is the first step to take in the right direction.

8. Have to Fun Too

Don’t allow frustration and anxiety to weigh you down, and make sure you enjoy the service year. One beautiful thing about the NYSC services year is that you may probably get the chance to spend a year in a state you’ve never been to before. There is so much you can do and learns during this time, so make the best out of this one year, enjoy your life, make new friend, try out new things, take on a new adventure and always remember always to be happy.

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