NYSC Camp Diary: Day 1

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I’m in tears. It was 4pm and I’d only gone through the first hurdle of registration. This wouldn’t really bug me, except I got here at 8:30, which in my books was late.

First piece of advice?
Patience. I remember when I initially decided to register for this NYSC. A wise friend said “NYSC is not for your convenience.” Once you’ve understood that, everything makes sense. So when you’re asked to leave the line and photocopy, leave the line and scan, leave the line and go home… It’s not you, it’s NYSC.

Second
Foreign students get NO preferential treatment. In Lagos sha. If anything, we suffered the most. 😭😭
A slight fraction of our suffering was our fault, but then only a slight. And even at that point we were told by an official:

“I’m not here to listen to you, you’re here to listen to me.”

Remember this! You’ll never feel bigger than your shoes (and trust me, these shoes are big – literally!! I got size 45 boots. Why please?)

Third
It’s never that deep.

It’s 4:30 and this section of the queue is just reviving from a ruckus of laughter. Why? Well, remember how I said NYSC is not for your convenience? The last thing you want to do is inconvenience them. The process gives priority to nursing mothers. So when a certain nursing mother came to ‘chance’ us, we all got defensive.

NM: Can I go in front of you?
Girl: No
NM: Why not?
Girl: Because I’m wicked.
NM: You don’t know the future. You don’t know if maybe one day you are dying and you’ll need to go in front of me. You’re a woman oh. You don’t need to be hard.

We were all shocked. We all laughed. We eventually let the woman in front, only for her to be sent home. Why? Someone else did the fingerprint scan. Future corpers: NEVER BE THAT STUPID!

Fourth
Have fun. Today got frustrating. I can’t even lie. In fact, if I had dwelt on my frustration five minutes longer than I did, I’d have cried. I was sure that I’d be crying at this point. But I decided to have fun, with everything. Joke with everyone, smile with anyone, help someone. Favours go a long way in this place and well they make it all fun.

Fifth
NYSC IS NOT FOR YOUR CONVENIENCE!!

I’ve said this? You didn’t hear it well enough.

It’s 10:30pm, lights out now and the national anthem is blaring through the crowds. It’s official, I’m a corper, and this here is my journey.

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