An Overview of My NYSC Orientation Camp Experience

Kebbi Corpers
Gallant Corpers

For several months, I kept praying earnestly that the federal government would just decide to scrap off the NYSC scheme. My prayers went unanswered and to my chagrin, I was posted to Kebbi State. A week later, I set out on the trip with some prospective corp members who also knew little about the state. We bonded in no time and this made our journey exciting.

After traveling for close to 19 hrs, we arrived at the orientation camp in the wee hours of the morning. Instantly, I understood the true meaning of harmattan. We were directed to the administrative block where we wrote down our names before taking mattresses and dispersing to our different hostels. Around 9 am, the registration process began and our kits were issued to us. As usual, most of the corp members had to alter their khakis at the mammy market. I was lucky enough to get a pair of jungle boots that snugly fitted my tiny feet. 

Parade ground
The Parade Ground, NYSC Permanent Orientation Camp, Dakingari, Kebbi State

The hostels

Before traveling down to the orientation camp, I learned that it is one of the best camps in Nigeria. This piece of information put my mind at ease, but I was careful not to raise my hope too high. On getting there, I discovered that the hostels are relatively new with facilities that are still in good shape. Each room has bunk beds and can contain up to 30 occupants. Vests, socks, shorts and water were the major things that were stolen.   

 

Camp food

Feeding over 3,000 individuals is not an easy task. We were fed three times a day, even though the meal may not be up to one’s satisfaction. I’ve never tried eating any Hausa dishes before, so I didn't go near the kitchen on the days that they were served. Those who couldn't eat the camp meals opted to buy food at mammy market. A plate of food costs #300, except noodles, bread and potato or yam chips which vary in price. 

Mammy market 

mami market
Mammy market
Due to the fact that the traders at mammy have to pay their dues, they sell things at exorbitant prices and most of the time, corp members have no option than to patronize them. The market is always full of activities as the traders sell all sorts of things and offer different services that include dry cleaning, hairdressing, barbing and charging of mobile devices.

Man o' war drills and parades

Take dressing!
Call out the timing! 

Those orders often wake me up from my reverie. I'll be dreaming of eating amala and correct soup in Lagos and the soldiers won't stop asking if we are good to go or motivated. "I'm a survivor" and "this too shall pass" became my favourite slogans. Towards the end of the first week, I got tired of the regimented lifestyle. We participated in drills and parades every morning and evening, except on Sunday mornings.

Drills
Two of my platoon members, a platoon officer and me

Social activities and lectures

Each platoon had to handle the social activities and give their presentation on the days assigned to them. The social activities were held at night and normally start around 8 pm. Some were really boring to the extent that the platoon members presenting that night will be booed,  while others have the effect of keeping you at the edge of your seat. As for the sleep-inducing morning lectures, most corp members attend them in order to escape from the morning parades and get few minutes of sleep.

Dakingari Orientation Camp experience was a wonderful one and I enjoyed it to the fullest. I met many people and made lots of amazing friends. I was blown away by the diversity of human nature within three weeks. Parting with most of my newly made friends was quite emotional during the passing out parade because it seemed as if we've known each other for years. I came back to Lagos three pounds thinner, two shades darker, and a higher than average morale. Although I don’t know what’s in store for me in Kebbi State yet, I believe that they are worth looking forward to. 

Ditch Dating Rules and Make Intuition Your Guide Instead


dating

As Dayo sashayed into the bar, James muttered to himself how lucky he was. Without mincing words, she is a beauty to behold from head to toe and walks with a mesmerising grace. It was their first date, although they've spoken over the phone several times. He prayed fervently that she wouldn't break more than one of his dating rules. They are so dear and he adheres strictly to them than the 10 commandments.

Within three hours, she broke two rules and Mr. Man instantly resolved to continue with his ultimate search. Meanwhile, she doesn't believe in any of the traditional rules. After the first date, he severed contact with her. Series of messages went unanswered until she got tired and stopped. It didn’t take too long for her to get over it. “His loss,” she mused.

Back to his rules, she unknowingly broke the first by offering to pay for the meal. Secondly, she called an hour after they parted, gushing about how she had a nice time. One of his expired rules states that if a lady offers to pay for dinner, she will never be submissive. Another states that a lady who initiate contact before the second date is clingy and desperate, be wise and run for your dear life bro."

It's common to see headlines like “21 Dos and Don’ts of Relationship” or “50 Rules to Keep Him Happy, Satisfied and Interested” concocted by mortals like us and some will follow them to the last letter. These rules have been evolving, making most of them obsolete.

intuition

If factors such as age and country were put into consideration, some of these rules are not applicable. Human beings are ever dynamic, what works for the writer may not work for someone else. Few of these rules still contain grains of wisdom, this is when our intuition should be activated.

Over time, I have discovered that the instinct or gut feeling is 95% accurate, not only in issues of relationships but in other areas of life. We all know that sooner or later, the truth will be revealed. Our intuition detects people's true intentions and highlights red flags as soon as it spots them.

Anyone can use its powers, but it may not be that potent because we dismiss its suggestions constantly. Journaling can be a great place to start. Keeping notes of our body language, the vibes we feel either positive or negative, random thoughts that pop up and, whether we feel safe or not could assist with having a clearer perspective. When we go back to our journals, some words might jump up at us screaming "I told you so!"

Engaging in excessive romantic fantasy interferes with our instincts, so it's better to keep it in check. Apart from guiding in wise decision making, trusting our gut feeling helps to make deeper connections in relationships which in turn lead to better understanding. This can only be effective when the sixth sense works together with the remaining five.

Do you feel that following one's intuition is safer or will ignoring the majority of these rules be risky? Perhaps you have an entirely different opinion. Don't hesitate to air your views in the comments section.

Charting Through the Murky Waters of Quarter-Life Crisis

"It is not true that everyone is special. It is true that everyone was once special and still possesses the ability to recover it." - Criss Jami

Quarter-life crisis

No one explained life in details so that we could have a clearer picture of what to expect. Gradually, the “I don’t want to grow up” phrase starts making real sense. You’ll be claiming adamantly that a substantial chunk of yourself is cleverly hidden somewhere, but by who and where exactly? This is not the kind of life that you envisioned years ago. The search for the once confident, purpose driven and staunch possibility evangelist only leads to a never-ending tunnel.

Very serious questions will keep pouring in from different angles of the brain. Where are those dreams? When did my passion begin to fizzle out? Who snatched my confidence? What is life? These questions and more may signal the onset of a quarter-life crisis. Some may experience it as early as adolescence is reached, others won’t go through it until their early thirties, yet, only a few will manage to escape it in their lifetime.

As new responsibilities keep surfacing, throwing up one's hands in despair might look like the only available option. After all, what is the point of trying when nothing is certain? Social media isn't even helping, it’s so easy to stare and gloat at other people’s perfect life. Here is someone who seems to be winning at life and a constant reminder of your sorry state. So you assume that life isn't fair, everything you once believed in is now a lie. If they could only allow you to exchange maps with them, if that is even possible, don't forget that your destinations are quite different.

Going through a quarter-life crisis doesn’t mean that one is doomed to fail. In fact, it can be an opportunity to be better equipped and prevent similar occurrences later in life. The foundations of the remaining quarters are being laid out during this period. Many people go through this phase and return stronger and wiser. No one has figured out everything about his/her life. 

Back to the very serious questions, who needs all that seriousness when you can poke fun at life itself and get away with it? The anger, frustration and all other negative emotions we feel should fuel our passion. It takes more than just believing to shake off the nasty feeling of being left behind, the answer lies in starting afresh.

3 Steps to Transform the Waiting Room Into a Grooming Parlour

Waiting room

Many may have met and left you in the waiting room within a short period of time. You have probably reached a point where it's difficult to keep believing that what you're waiting for will ever become a reality. A long term wait for anything can be challenging as well as frustrating, but if it were to arrive at this moment, it should meet you in the best condition. That waiting room needs a thorough makeover, switch the interior from drab to posh with these tips. 

1. Get the right measures of patience, hope and faith. With these 3 elements, waiting can be much easier. See, if a chill pill isn't enough, pop as many as possible, you won't die of an overdose of patience. Waiting requires a great deal of patience that will be tried several times. Cling desperately to hope, the size doesn't matter, as long as you have something to hold on to. You believed that the thing existed in the first place, never lose your faith or trade it for anything inferior.

2. Networking. It's tricky to assume that our own situation is peculiar, but the truth is that many have threaded the same path as ours, while some are still going through similar experience. By connecting and interacting with them, a thing or two may be learnt and we won't feel all alone.

3. Approach waiting with gratitude. We will be often tempted to number what we lack as we wait, but what of those blessings that are innumerable? The qualities for handling our blessings are developed during this period, it's an opportunity to groom ourselves for what is coming ahead.   

The period of waiting isn't a time to twiddle one's thumb and do nothing, we must play our roles so that what we are waiting for will meet us halfway. Got more tips to add? Don't hesitate to drop your opinions in the comment section.