Post NYSC Depression is that sort you experience after your NYSC is over and you realize there’s totally nothing for you!
October will be the 24th month since Grace an ex-corps member who served in Uyo will officially be out of active service. According to Grace, NYSC JAC week was the period it dawned on her that she was actually ‘passing out’ to nothing.
My friends and I have always talked about the fact that we will take part in NYSC SAED programmes —but as things will have it, we never actually got around to attending any of the programmes. ‘Abeg NYSC is stressful’, she retorted; and CDS and PPA took almost all of my time.’ According to Grace she never understood what it meant to be depressed until last year when her situation took a nose dive for the worst.
March 2016 precisely, was when I realized that I no longer found joy/happiness in things that could ordinarily make me laugh out loud. My friends and I soon learned that there was barely any job in Nigeria especially for fresh graduate with no form of skills or advancement. Searching for fresh graduate jobs online was even tiring because you get to burn your subscription for people who do not even get to screen your resume but allocate the available slots to their friends and family. After exhausting all savings to go for endless unsuccessful interviews, Grace gave up the hope on ever getting a meaningful job. But soon after, things took for the worst, and she became high, dry and broke.
According to Grace, the most annoying thing wasn’t that she was broke with no job, but the fact that situations around her consciously or unconsciously reminded her that she was a ‘failure’ and her education was almost in vain. Starting from her parents down to innocent social media posts from her followers, she was constantly being put in a place of having to hide her face all the time.
When she was asked how she got around to actually realising that she was not a failure after all; ‘I excluded myself from all public functions just to avoid being asked if I had gotten a job. Secondly I dusted my arts skills and began to pen down my thoughts and opinion and renewed my drawing skills to help burn the negative energy that was almost consuming me. Lastly and most importantly I had to leave social media like Facebook and Instagram; seeing my course mates upload pictures of them in their work place and having fun and stuffs was almost consuming me with hate and jealousy for people who did nothing to me. So excluding myself from social media was paramount’, Grace says.
‘Apart from these Exclusions I had to think of how I could help myself since the government couldn’t help me, and with the help of my siblings I had to take up classes in graphics and website design just to help myself acquire some skills. Since I love drawings and designing, it’s a lot easy for me to do graphic design because that is what I have passion for. I haven’t completed my 12 months training, but when I do I know am going to be a hot cake.’ Grace said.
This story is just one out of about seven million Nigerians who according to Vanguard, risk suicide as a result of depression which they are currently suffering as a result of not being able to cater for themselves and their dependent. Grace was lucky because she had the help of her siblings, so as a person who has been out of active service or about to pass out to nothing, these are the basic tips that will help you live pass the period.
Yes I repeat leave your parent house. You know how they say over familiarity breeds contempt? Yes! That is what is going to happen if you keep staying at home and your parents keep seeing you daily, you become a nuisance in their eyes and anything you do will begin to irritate them. Even your younger siblings will unconsciously start talking down on you without actually meaning to do so. So my dear pack your bags and move out and squat with a cousin or a friend for the mean time as you begin the journey to discover yourself. Because I mean; you probably don’t want your folks to keep track of your every move.
Skill Acquisition During NYSC
I know this sounds almost like a cliché but my dear it is time you help yourself to help yourself. Nobody has got you more than you have yourself and the cheapest period to acquire the skill is during SAED programme but if you missed it like we all did, you can go online and learn the skill especially if it has to do with IT skills. If not, you could pay a token and get the training in places around you.
You see that primary school in your estate that you think teaching there is not up to your level? You can go in there and ask them to employ you as a volunteer teacher. Teaching will help relieve your stress and it will not only enhance your sense of being valuable but it will also increase your public speaking skills. Walk in to private firms and ask them to take you as a volunteer staff. Remember the goal is not to get paid although most firms will pay you a token, the goal is to gain working experience and be preoccupied to avoid wasting your energy plus increases your chances of networking for a job and help you to be more focused on your journey to self-actualization. For volunteering in schools, when opportunities like African Union Youth Volunteer Corps (AUYVC) comes up or maybe other international NGOs that seek for volunteer experience from their prospective employees, that teaching experience believe you me will automatically become handy.
Fuel your passion
Do you know how to write? Are you good at penning down your thoughts constructively? Or do you have a flair for being the most organized person in the group, or the go to girl people call when they have a party to organize? Then you should consider developing your passion of blogging or event planning to earn you some serious cash. Be it Photography, drawing, or even modelling let that hustle pay your bills. Develop yourself and be excellent at it. Remember, do not be good at anything you do, everybody else is good, be excellent because that is what will distinguish you from everybody else and that is what your customers will find irresistible and pay for.
Let’s hear from you. Have you experienced post NYSC depression before, how did you manage it or how are you managing it?
Written by Ifeoma Lynda.