Good advice for those going for NYSC

This will change your life forever

The Purple Writer
7 min readApr 20, 2024
Author in 2022

My National Youth Service remains the epitome of my life. I can’t reflect on my personal growth without recounting moments from my service.

Before embarking on my youth service, I sought the prayers of a mentor, someone I consider a father and grandfather. He shared how his own service profoundly shaped his adulthood and faith journey, urging me to make the most of mine. Thankfully, I heeded his advice.

Though I completed my service in 2022, the memories remain vivid, as if it were yesterday. Within that year, I learned a lifetime’s worth of lessons that continue to underpin the life I lead today.

I’ve attempted to distil these experiences into writing, particularly for those yet to embark on their NYSC journey. While I’ve previously shared my NYSC money story, it feels timely to go deeper into the invaluable lessons I learned during that period.

This article won’t delve extensively into my personal experience, but I hope, with the guidance of the Holy Spirit, it prepares your heart and mind for the journey ahead.

Here are 12 important lessons during my NYSC:

1. Experience beyond walls:

NYSC exposes you to life’s fundamentals and harsh realities, akin to a free trial run in adulthood. It’s a learning opportunity unlike any other, surpassing what your school or even your parents can teach.

You’ll face numerous firsts—from travelling alone to living independently, from being away from family to meeting diverse people. Each experience is a milestone in your personal growth. It’s a crash course in independence and decision-making.

Moreover, you’ll be confronted with tough decisions, bearing full responsibility for their outcomes — choosing where to live or what to eat. At times, you won’t have a choice, e.g. your Primary Place of Assignment (PPA).

No one truly prepares you for these challenges, yet they form a journey you’ll look back on with gratitude, shaping you into the person you’re meant to become.

2. Age is just a number.

I learned this lesson the hard way. I was in uncomfortable situations with individuals old enough to be my uncles and aunties. I could write a book detailing the challenges of tolerating childish behaviour from people with a significant age gap, up to 7 years older than me.

Quickly, I realized that age doesn’t automatically translate to maturity or command respect. Many so-called ‘adults’ exhibit behaviours that haven’t matured beyond childhood antics. Consider this a heads-up: You’ll encounter plenty of them during your NYSC journey if you haven’t already.

3. Your soul mate can be of the same sex.

My mom encouraged me to keep an open mind about meeting my ‘soulmate’ during service, implying I might find a romantic partner. However, that didn’t happen. Instead, I discovered soulmates in the form of lifelong friends.

God orchestrated encounters with individuals who have become integral parts of my life. Have you ever heard of divinely ordained relationships or matches made in heaven? The friendships I forged during NYSC felt like God’s handiwork.

While I’ve always made friends easily, I could sense God guiding these connections. Every aspect of my life seemed to align with their presence, fostering profound personal growth. Keep an eye out for your own ‘soulmates’ during your journey.

4. Endurance, Pain, and Tolerance.

Patience, often referred to as ‘long-suffering,’ took on a new meaning for me during this period. God’s dealings with me shaped my understanding of this virtue. I am writing this article majorly for this reason.

I once believed I possessed boundless patience until I encountered individuals and situations that tested it to its limits. Through these trials, God cultivated patience within me, surpassing any other fruit of the spirit.

I found myself in situations where avoidance or confrontation wasn’t an option, forcing me to tolerate circumstances for the sake of my peace and sanity. Despite justifiable reasons for anger, the Holy Spirit guided me to maintain composure.

Through these experiences, patience became ingrained in my character, enhancing my relationships with others and enabling me to navigate even the most challenging situations with grace

5. Whatever He asks, do it.

During my service, I encountered moments where God called me to step out of my comfort zone and undertake tasks I wouldn’t have considered otherwise.

Through these experiences, I learned the profound rewards of obedience to God’s will. Even today, I find myself called to undertake seemingly ‘foolish’ tasks without hesitation, trusting in the blessings that come from following God’s guidance, as I’ve witnessed firsthand the fruits of obedience.

6. Trust God for the absolute.

In moments of overwhelming challenge, I turn to God for strength and guidance. I recall times when I faced academic setbacks, battled depression and suicidal thoughts, and struggled with unexplained physical sickness that brought a lot of tears to my eyes.

Reflecting on these trials, I see how God consistently showed up in my life. When faced with financial scarcity for a significant project, I trusted in God’s provision, knowing that He would provide the necessary resources.

7. Put God first

As you must have seen all through this content, I have emphasized God. Why? Nothing about serving NYSC will be possible without God.

My spiritual awakening occurred during my time in the NYSC. I encountered God in tangible and profound ways, experiencing His presence during prayers like never before.

I went above and beyond in building a relationship with God during the period because your only friend will be God in a strange man’s land.

8. Not everyone is your friends

I believe, by now, you know this. : choose your friends wisely. Be discerning about the company you keep and the associations you form.

This applies even within the body of Christ. Select your friends carefully, as they greatly influence your journey.

9. Be great at something

Build excellence in whatever you find yourself doing. Do not be idle during this period. Let this be the most defining season of your life, because the truth is, when you get back home, you might not get a job early, you might have to wait months before you get employed.

Your work will make way for you, it will be what you will survive on in the days you have not much.

If you’re already great at something, show your value to people. Sell yourself unapologetically. Be known for something great. Don’t hide the light of God, calling it humility

10. Give back to the community.

Many of your peers might not take Community Development Service (CDS) seriously, don’t join them. Instead, find a meaningful project to contribute to in your community or organization.

Don’t leave the location you were posted the same way you met it. Strive to make a positive social impact.

Anyone interested in social development work should start here. This is your chance to start making a difference. Seize this opportunity; it’s your defining moment.

11. Join a community of believers

For the believers reading this, I encourage you to find a local assembly and a community of believers with whom you can grow together.

There are days you won’t be so strong and feel like giving up, these are the people who will be your Aaron and Hur.

I was blessed to have my NCCF friends stand by me, and they remain my closest companions to this day.

Join 100 youths in praying in tongues for 30 minutes every day.

12. Save for the latter day.

As I mentioned earlier, getting a job right after service might not happen, so it’s crucial to save up for those lean times. You’ll need to learn prudence and financial management during this period.

In 2021, I developed an automated savings platform designed to help you save and stay disciplined. It proved invaluable to many corp members during my time, and it’s still available for subscription using the Cowrywise app.

I also have a free community that can assist you in achieving your financial goals. Feel free to join and take advantage of the support available.

So then, my dear ones, just as you have always obeyed [my instructions with enthusiasm], not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence, continue to work out your salvation [that is, cultivate it, bring it to full effect, actively pursue spiritual maturity] with awe-inspired fear and trembling [using serious caution and critical self-evaluation to avoid anything that might offend God or discredit the name of Christ].

Philippians 2:12 [AMP]

At the end of every month, I will randomly answer questions about faith, finance, career, business, mental health, personal development, and relationships. If you have a question in this area, please fill out the form.

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