I promised you I'd have something juicy for you to read from someone who just started his NYSC service. He FOINALLY forwarded his stories to me, and I thank God mine's over and done with. Grab some popcorn, a cold soda or hot chocolate depending on the weather and have fun reading. I've broken the story down into 2/3 parts. This is Part 1.
Hey y’all. Let me start this off by saying NYSC is a colossal waste of time! I used to be one of those people who defended the purpose of NYSC and while I still believe in that purpose, I also believe that it has been lost along the way, especially now, with the whole everyone-must-teach thing. And now that I’m actually doing NYSC, I can testify from my personal experience that it’s a big fucking waste of time! But we’ll get to that later…
I had no intentions of doing NYSC. I was only supposed to be in Lagos for two weeks before returning to start school at UCLA but as things turned out, that wasn’t meant to be… Another story for another day, LOL.
Before I knew it, I was in Abuja registering for NYSC and then camp came around. I had every intention of staying in camp; I read all the guides, got a shopping list and bought EVERYTHING, good to go!
I get to camp on the first day of registration around about 5 a.m.; first person in line, or so I thought. As more people come, we start lining up at the gate and we’re given numbers. I’m number 1 – YEAH BOYYYEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!
About an hour later, we’re sent to the main camp area and my face drops as I see about 300 people already there. I mean, who sleeps over in camp the night before?! Camp is not that serious! Anyway we’re told to go get chairs and sit on the parade ground. It’s about 7 a.m. At this point, the numbers we were given at the gate count for nothing. SMH. That’s the point when I realized that this was going to be a long ass day.
At 7.30, one of the soldiers comes and says that we should go to the hostel and get accommodation before we register. I go to the hostel, start lining up again and another soldier says we should go back and register before getting accommodation (sidenote: registration hasn’t even started yet) We all go back to the parade ground and sit down again. The first soldier comes back and says they won’t register us until we get accommodation. Back to the hostel.
We do this back and forth for the next hour. I just stand around and wait for these soldiers get their shit together and decide what they want us to do. Eventually, they start giving accommodation. We write our names on a list and he calls the first 40 people to follow him. We walk to a small ass room and he’s like all of us must fit in here. At this point my exact words were “Fuck this shit” and all intentions of staying in camp went straight out of the hole in the wall that was the “window”. I left my stuff there so I wouldn’t have to keep dragging it around and headed back to the parade ground to check on registration.
At the parade ground and we’re told to sit down again in rows of 50. I’m on like row 6. How did I get from being number 1 at the beginning of the day to number 300+??? See demotion! After 3 hours under the scorching sun (it was so hot, my iPhone actually vexed and gave me an error message I’ve never seen in my life “iPhone needs to cool down before you can use it”) they finally call my group to stand in yet another line for registration.
For registration, you get like 5 or 6 different forms that you have to fill with ALL THE SAME DAMN INFORMATION! Seriously, it’s the same thing you have to write on each form! I wrote my name so many times that day that I actually considered changing it and for those of us that have ridiculously long FIRST and MIDDLE names, it was horrible! Also make sure you have like at least 10 passport photos because you put them on everything. And you should go with a disposable stapler; it will save you a bit of money and time and trust me, you’ll become everyone’s new best friend. I actually became pretty cool one of the guys that used my stapler, lol.
With registration done I now had to figure out how to get an exeat. For those of you on the exeat route, know this: MAKE SURE YOUR DOCTOR’S NOTE IS FROM A GOVERNMENT HOSPITAL! If you don’t get anything else from this story, get that. I spent the 3 hours trying to get my exeat given to me because of that. As in the NYSC official had written the exeat, the camp supervisor had signed it, and when I was called to pick it up, the official looks at the letter again and says “We don’t accept private hospital notes. Wait here.” I waited “here” for 2 and a half hours. I went to get a drink, charge my phone and came back to continue waiting “here.” Eventually I called the camp commandant (don’t ask how I got his number) and he’s like I should go to the sick bay (haven’t heard that word in forever!) and get my note approved.
The actor in me came out immediately. Out of nowhere, I had bronchitis and was showing symptoms of SARS. The doctor there actually thought I was contagious and pulled out a face mask and gloves… I almost believed it myself. I think I was inspired by what the camp bathroom looked like *throws up again*
Anyways I got his approval and my exeat. On my way out of camp, I stopped by my platoon. My pack of pens came in handy because one of the officers I had given the whole pack to, got my BBM pin and said he’d let me know whenever I needed to come back to camp.
True to his word, he hit me up every time I had to come to camp (not saying I went, but hey). He even threw in quite a few random “Gd mrning” messages in there. I kept getting those “Gd mrnings” until I was forced to delete him! Actually, I just got a new BB and conveniently forgot to re-add him :p
Over the next three weeks, I went to camp once to pick up my ID and incidentally my platoon was signing the book of life that day so I was able to kill two birds with one stone. On the last day of camp, I showed up at noon just in time for the handing out of posting letters. I hadn’t “arranged” my posting but as it turned out, I got posted to a school 5 minutes away from my house.