Day 3 and counting…
How has your camp experience been so far? I really hope not too stressful even though it is almost inevitable (the essence of this post actually!). My apologies that this post is coming much later than Tuesday, as earlier said.
At a meeting recently, the speaker said it is appointed for a youth to serve once and after this is POP. And you’d agree with this statement in the context of NYSC, of course. This makes me wonder, if it is once a lifetime shouldn’t one make the best of it?
Since the NYSC program begins with the compulsory Orientation Camp that last for 21 days, I must tell you the truth. Those 21 days are not beans and so should be handled intentionally! The aim of this post is to share some thoughts on how to make the most of the camp experience.
- National Integration
By now, you realize a lot of people (possibly including you) are interested in knowing the tribe of other people. This may be a good thing especially when you find your “brother” or “sister”!
The challenge, you see with all this clamoring to know each other’s tribe to know who your brother or sister is often a root cause of tribalism in camp and it further kills the idea of National Integration that brought us together. I mean if the government wanted it to be an interaction between “only” brothers and sisters, they’d have left us in our various geopolitical zones, or what do you think?
So what to do?
a. Don’t be to quick to judge a person based on preconceived notions you have about their tribe
b. Don’t go about saying Hausas are like this, Igbos are like that or Yoruba do that
c. Feel free to relate with people.
d. When people ask “where are you from?”, to tilt the person off potential tribalistic course, you could say “You are a Nigerian.” This actually is a message that you belong to everybody and are for nobody.
So you have been and will be with a lot of people during the next 18 days. By people, I mean roommates people on the queue, platoon, at the lecture halls, basically humans. And that’s all right. The wisdom in this matter is to be Strategic. People come to camp with (possibly) different motives. The earlier you define your motives, the better for you.
It is alright to hangout, but hey the reality is that you don’t have so much time at your disposal. This means you don’t have the luxury of time to hangout with everyone. My advice is to maintain a friendly (not necessarily chatty) demeanor and seek people with the same value system and belief system.
One of the best things about camp is the people you’d meet and will grow on to become friends, business associates, spouses etc.
- Health Matters
Amidst all the interesting things you’d be seeing would be fainting stunts being pulled by PCMs during parades especially, while some are real, some are just a means of escape to get rest. Your health is very important, dear one. And so if you’d get the most out of the remaining days, then think it best to not joke with Feeding, rest (take advantage of the times given for rest), water (it is important to stay hydrated during and after the camp exercise.
Truth is food served in the kitchen may not be perfect but they are provided with great consideration of you.
Friends, I advise that money should be spent on essentials as I did in my last post, you see. Allowances will be given at the camp, the bicycle and transport allowances will be given to you. It is best to not incur debts during camp because you are expected to use the money given to settle yourself down into your PPA after Camp.
- Mental Alertness and Self Awareness
Amongst the several things that helps a man remain sane is if he is in check with himself. What do I mean by this, it is important to listen to yourself and think on what you are thinking about? Are they what you should be thinking about?
a. Don’t walk through camp like a victim, wondering why you have been posted to a faraway land.
b. Look around, look for the problems that are screaming for you attention. See them as opportunities.
c. Avoid depressing conversations and pity party
d. Take part in a venture that challenged your mind e.g. Red Cross, The Band, OBS, SAED or SDG volunteers
e. Read a Book ( Take it everywhere, don’t waste your time)
- Activity Management
This is one aspect that gets really overwhelming. Typically, activities begin around 4 or 5 am and run through the day till around 6pm before dinner then social activities may carry on till 10pm there about. What this means is that by 10pm daily, you are most likely to be fagged out and in need of a place to rest your body. I advise that you choose activities wisely, since not all are compulsory. Make it a priority to rest during the day.
On my part, I attended evening services with Nigerian Christian Corpers Fellowship most evenings after dinner at 7pm. It was a great place to recharge, hear the word of God, soak in good music, meet amazing people with mutual values and belief system, and understand what it meant to be a Nigerian Youth Serving Christ. Plus, there is usually morning devotion in the chapel around 5am. Do well to find out so you don’t miss out.
I know it is such a lengthy post, and I believe it has blessed you. Do well to practice some of these tips. They sure worked for me.
If you have any questions, let me know and I’d answer within 24hours.
And please share with someone! You never know who needs this.
Congratulations, as you have been sworn in!
Nigeria is ours, Nigeria we serve.