Three Vital Life Lessons NYSC Taught Me

NYSC Corps member wearing uniform. This post shares three lessons she learnt from her year of NYSC

Now that my NYSC year is over, one month later, the lessons it taught me are all I’m left with. Generally, the program gets a bad rap. Considering that it is compulsory for all tertiary institutions’ graduates, it really isn’t properly understood but is intensely hated.

Or… am I alone in this?

Maybe it’s the fact that it is considered unnecessary. I mean, why do I need to go through 5.5 years of pharmacy school, 6 months of waiting, one year of internship… then one year of NYSC?

Likewise, it could be the fact that it is such a short-term program; 11 months and boom, you’re done, with no tangible prospects, for most people.

Talking about it and having people help out with details made it a bit less daunting. So here I am, doing just that as people did to me.

However, for something so brief, NYSC will teach you a lot about life- whether you like it or not.

It may not bring you joy, nevertheless, I’m 2500% sure that every single person who goes through NYSC learns a few lessons.

I am no exception, and here are some lessons NYSC tossed my way which you should know;

Again, Nigeria Is Not Ready

The things I saw during this year, from NYSC camp to POP, reiterated that Nigerians are not ready to move forward. The depth of corruption in the government officials and fellow corps members was saddening.

Do you want to be posted to a specific state/ PPA? Bribe.

You don’t (want to) come to your PPA? Bribe.

You don’t come to CDs? Bribe.

Want to travel mid-service year? Bribe and go.

I was going to use the word ‘pay’ in the place of bribe, but that would be a white lie, because it is blatant bribery, which we partake in broad daylight, and without shame.

It happens from top to bottom, almost effortlessly. Our system isn’t set up for it not to happen, and it is so ingrained that it has become the normalcy.

This was a hard pill to swallow, but if you decide to be one who doesn’t want to do this, they treat you like the bad person.

You’re classified as the ‘holier than thou’ who thinks she/he is better than others, simply because you try to do the right thing… until you are forced to bend.

How do we move past this?

Can we?

Where do we even begin??

People Are Your Greatest Resource

The conundrum that is humanity baffles me every day. We are the source of our problems, even so, we are the only medium for the transformation that we need.

Through the horridness of NYSC, some of the people I met this year have helped change my perspective by miles and granted me opportunities I didn’t have a year ago.

I keep saying that relationships formed are the best gift NYSC, just like most stages of my life so far, granted me.

It is important that we do not underestimate this but use it. Absolutely nothing can happen without people. You need people and they need you too.

Do It! The Time Will Pass Anyway

If I had to pick ONE lesson from NYSC to share, it’d be this.


This year showed me that everything and everyone is moving. We just are.

A lot of the time, the feeling that people know what they are doing while I am in a hamster cage- moving but still in the same spot, takes over me so I just (kind of) stay put, you know.

Going through NYSC this year taught me that isn’t true- or fair to myself.

I realized that I needed to give myself a little nudge periodically because that’s how people get things done.

If I don’t… the time will pass anyway. 11 months will go, fiam!

So, to you (and to me, really) DO THE DAMN THING!!

Las Las, We Go Dey Alright

The final lesson from my NYSC year. Looking around lives brought in and lives lost.

We go dey alright, and I don’t mean this in a regular way, but we REALLY will be fine.

The internet may never forget, but time dampens human memories. This is one vital lesson NYSC taught me.

Remember when the Beyoncé elevator thing happened and the internet went mad?

We moved on.

When I started this year, I wondered how I would sort out my PPA issues because I had been living (and working) on the island and it was on the mainland.

Some days were very frustrating and I took certain risks. Most days, I genuinely wondered how I’d get through the year. One Friday after the other, I kept going and now, it’s over.

In life, everything ends. It is what it is. All will be well.

It’s mind-boggling that my NYSC year is over, but it is. Just like that.

Have you been following the NYSC Chronicles? Check the other posts you should read here;

What have you had to learn this year? Do you think NYSC is really as bad as they say?

Thank you for reading!



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4 thoughts on “Three Vital Life Lessons NYSC Taught Me

  1. To be fair, it isn’t as bad/unnecessary as most Nigerian graduates think it is. Granted, it can pose as some sort of interruption in your grand plans, but like everything else, there is a good in it to be gotten out. The scheme was put together with good, dare I say the best intentions, but the compulsory nature of it may make it seem more like a chore than anything else.

    I entered the scheme barely a month ago and have just completed the orientation exercise and begun work at my PPA. Looking at the months ahead, it looks like it’s going to be a long one year. Sometimes, I fear I may not have the strength to get through it and wish I can pay someone to do the program for me, but I know that time goes by fast and soon, this would be behind me.

    I hear of fantastic feats a lot of young people do during their service year, I look forward to having such in my name too.

    A lot of things I have learned already from the scheme and I am still learning. I pray and hope every day leaves me better than the day before.



    1. Can I just say… this is the comment of my dreams.
      I love the fact that you own your journey, Annie! The fact that you look at the bright side.
      Truth is, mostly, life is what you make of it. NYSC is really what you make of it too. Some people truly do amazing things during this year and some even meet the loves of their lives.
      Overall, it is just one year and it goes by sooo quickly, faster than we expect.
      Thank you for your perspective. It really is a refresher ♥️

  2. Congratulations on the successful completion of your service year! Proud of you and the lessons you’ve drawn. I’m nearly at that stage, in fact I registered and was posted to Abia state but I won’t be going this year sha. I’m excited but also petrified because this is Nigeria laslas

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