15 Mistakes You Should Avoid During Your National Service

I wish I did this while I was in my service year

The only mistake I did during my national service was that…

My service year was not what I would call very enjoyable.

Would you really be glad to repeat this comments made by some ex-corpers after your own service year? Definitely, that would be so unkind to yourself. To help corp members not to repeat mistakes that were made by by their senior colleagues in their service year, we have sampled a lot of queries from ex-corpers on what they would have avoided if they had to go through the service year again. So now we would be sharing some of these points with you under the topic under discussion, 15 Mistakes You Should Avoid During Your National Service.

Read also: Survival Strategies for the 1 year compulsory NYSC

15 Mistakes You Should Avoid During Your National Service

This list of things you need to avoid some might be very serious while others might just be quite menial but they all count if you have to enjoy your national service fully.


1. Avoid Unhealthy Complains

There are certain people I have met in life that are full of complains in their life no matter where they are. There are always in the habit of comparing their present location to their former residence. They might saw things like, “if I was at home or in this place or that place they would been enjoying their life.” Surprisingly this same people would go back home and still be complaining that, “life was better in my former place or life would have been better in this or that place.”

My dear you have to stop making all this comparison in your life. They are unhealthy for you. What stops you from making your present place enjoyable? Is it that those living in your new community are not happy people or they are not humans like you? There are always ways to make life enjoyable for you in any place if you make effort to make it happen. Life is too short to waste it complaining. Enjoy it to the full!

Read also: How To Write A Complaint Letter

2. Avoid influencing your posting

This advice is straight forward. Many found out sadly after wasting a lot of money that where they thought would be a blessing for them turns out not to favour them. While those who never influenced their posting found themselves in a nice ppa where they can manageable enjoy. After all why stress yourself this hard when you in less than a year’s time you would be out from wherever you are.  I can also bet you can change the world from wherever you are if you are have got the right material in you.


3. Avoid Having Problems With Your Employer

Your employer can be your source of frustration or your source of joy at your work place during your service to your father land. Michael says, “I knew how to play along with my employer. I had to be dedicated to work, which in turn made it easy for me to easily make request for things that where hard for my colleagues, and sometimes I really got on his nerves when I went against his rules he had no choice but to swallow my mess.”

That was for Michael though but we can learn a thing or two from him. You do not want to wake up each morning to go to work and remember your workplace with a sigh, or even work through the day feeling less at home. Home is a far distance to keep getting bored for long.

Consider reading: 10 Most Common Letters from Employer to Employee [with samples]


4. Forgetting To Carry Your ID Card

It is very vital that you always carry along your ID card with you. It serves as a lot of security for you because nobody would dare to tamper with a government ‘pikin’, and in cases of accidents or unforeseen occurrences help can easily be rendered to you.

I have this experience of one guy called Sunny. He was out at about 8pm at night to lodge at his friends place over the night. Since there was no light at that time and this was his second time of going to that place he made a mistake and entered one tight security zone. From afar the security on guard sighted him, and was watching him keenly from afar.

By this time sunny had realized he was at a wrong place so he decided to make a u-turn. The security hurried after him, caught up with him, pointed the gun at him and was speaking Hausa. Sunny did not know Hausa and he started shaking profusely at this point because in his mind he knew he was dead.

He spoke all the English he knows, all the little Yoruba he had acquired and yet no difference. That was when he remembered his NYSC ID card. With shaking hands he managed to bring it out, “I am a corper, this is my ID card”. The guard examined it, nods his head and began to rant all the things that sounded as warning advice before bringing down his gun and letting Sunny move.

So please don’t forget to carry along your ID card. It could be worse than this.


5. Do Not Isolate Yourself

As far as it depends on you try to live close to at least one corp member. It serves a greater protection in your strange new location. This would not only fill your need for company during boring or lonely periods, it would help you easily get useful information that would safeguard you.

You do not want to be like the story of one girl, Amanda who was seriously sick and on hearing that his father travelled very far distance to look for her in her place of assignment. By the time the father arrived the father tried her line and it was not available. He started asking all the corp members in her PPA if they know her daughter and all the corp members in her school said they have not seen nor met anybody like that even with a copy of her picture that her dad brought out. Cutting the long story short, somehow, somehow the LGI was informed, and after three days frantic search was made to look for her and lastly she was found in her room lying helplessly. She was hurried to the hospital and thank goodness her live was rescued.

Read also:5 ways To Engage Passive Students In Classroom Discussions


6. Wasting Your ‘Allawee’

That’s reminds me how I was just chatting with my girlfriend, Sylvia, the other day about marrying her and she was like, “how much do you have.”

I told her, “19800x7months” (because I was 7 months into my NYSC).

Filled with shock she replied, “Are you serious?”

“Yea, very serious”

“damn, we are rich. When are we going to Tinapa, in Calabar? You know you promised me.”

That is where we are about wasting your “allawee.” I remember my friend warning me against befriending any girl am serving with because all their eyes is on that my allawee (don’t get me wrong that is his opinion). Well, the point is we do not want to unnecessarily waste our ‘allawee’ on girls or boys as the case may be. That doesn’t stop us from being kind. We have to draw the line between being kind and being a spendthrift.

Other things that can waste your allawee for most guys is over drinking. Once in a while, that is good but making it a habit is being irresponsible (that is for those who believe that drinking is good).

Another thing that can waste your allawee is traveling here and there in the name of missing home or looking for fun. Are you not getting too old to be missing home every minute?

The money you can afford to save during your service year might actually save you for a while before you get a job. Note that I am not encouraging being a miser or not taking care of yourself during your NYSC.

So back to that my girlfriend I told her, “baby, am saving the allawee for our honey moon” (*winks*).


7. Having A Roommate

A lot of ex-corpers I have discussed with shared the opinion that having a roomy during your service year is not the best thing to do. After all most of the PPA’s are in rural areas and they are usually cheap or free rooms. It is a time for a lone time and personal meditation. In their opinion they believe that this one year of service is a time for each corp member to reconnect with himself. Most of us have lost ourselves while struggling day by day through the four walls of the university and neglecting some important areas of our personal growth.

To them it is the best time to rediscover oneself, fully understand one’s weakness and strength and try to build on their strength while working on their weakness. It is believed that at this stage you have to begin to see the man or woman you truly are and what picture you want to portray to the world or before you choose to settle down with any marriage mate.

I think this can also enable a corper to properly plan his life and get focus for the task ahead. You could be of different opinion though.



8. Avoiding Reading Like Plaque

You just got out of the university where reading was forced on you, now that you are out that shouldn’t be the end of your reading. It should rather be the time to read more. You need to get yourself motivated to read day by day.

There are a lot of things to read in newspapers, articles, motivational books, and self help books. You will need the information in this reading to get along with the pace of the world. To understand your society and fit in with it you will need to get abreast with current information and trends. Most of the job offers, most of your opportunities, and most of help you would get would be hidden in these written words.


9. Poor Feeding Regimen

When I served I promised myself that I was going to be feeding well. That gone was the days of schooling where we had to get by with any food to keep going. At least this time around the government is paying for your upkeep, so what stops me from not eating well.

A lot of things contribute to poor feeding regimen of corp members such as eating out most of the time, preparing poor meals in the name of saving their ‘allawee’ and over drinking.

When we eat well we are healthy, we feel better and we can relate well in our work place and with other people. Your PPA is long place away from home to get sick or to find your place in an unhappy mood all the time.


10. Having Problems with the Host Community

It is very easy to lose your cool if you find yourself living in a community you have never experienced in life before. With the differences in culture, life style, background, music, food, taste, character, attitude, housing, etc adapting to the new changes can be stressful and probably seemingly impossible. Imagining yourself spending 24 hours each day, every month and almost a year can be hard to imagine which could invariably affect your demeanor and attitude to some members of the community. You do not need that to affect you.

It is vital to note that you need to maintain a positive spirit, find things that keep you busy, associate and have fun with other corp members, hold yourself when pissed off with anything around, and try to keep a smile for everyone.

It is worth noting that generally corp members have been doing well in this aspect and we believe you would join in keeping this fine record.

Read also: Community Development Service (CDS); The Reawakening

11. Having Disagreement with Your LGI

Hehehehe! Just for your warning your Local Government Inspectors are like little gods in the local area you are posted to. They can do and undo. They would try to instill that fear in you especially in within that first time that you come. So you need to be careful with them. It doesn’t mean you have to avoid them or unnecessarily be afraid of them. In fact, they would love to have you around them since he represent your guardian in this place. So far as you are you doing the right thing, you don’t need to worry. Ask them for help anytime, call them when necessary and make them pals as much as you can.

However, they are a lot of these LGI that wants to step on your feet, so as to get tippings from you.  They also try to set trap for the ladies to cajole them to sleep with them. The ladies who found themselves in those situations know it is not a new thing for them so they already know how best to handle it themselves. (If you are not the type I’ll advice you act with tact, but be firm in your decision).

In all, you do not need anyone to mar your one year in service with an extension, allowance withdrawal, and things like that so as much as it depends upon you be peaceable with your LGI.


12. Not Looking For Job Opportunities

I think it would be wrong for a full grown graduate who knows that in a short while he would be let loose into the precarious job market and still fails to make effort to start looking out for opportunities.

In my view opportunities are everywhere. Nearly in all rural areas today they are phone networks making it possible to access the large opportunities in the internet. You got to search for them. Are there some things you can market in your area? These are parts of experiences you can include in your CV. Take the time to grow and develop yourself as much as you can. If you have the job offers, you can grab them and even be willing to work for free. Harold S. Green says it better that, “in the business world, everyone is paid in two coins: cash and experience. Take the experience first; the cash will come later.”

Acting now could save you. You never know you might clinch a big job that would leave you serving as a ghost corper.

Read also: How to Get Good Paying Jobs in 2018

13. Causing Unnecessary Trouble

A lot of corp members want to take advantage of the fact that they are government property to cause trouble here and there. They feel that they are protected and untouchable, but they can be wrong.

I have this story of a corp member who I don’t know what trouble he caused in his host community and they summoned police for him. When the police arrived at his house, and was knocking for him to open and he refused to open the door. After several attempt to make him open the door the police forcedly break open the door and started hitting him as they entered. He was sent to the prison. By the time the Zonal Inspector and his LGI heard the news they went to see him at the police station.

The zonal inspector who was torn in two at his seeing his swollen face angrily demanded, “Who dared hit him this way?”

The police explained the matter to him. That they couldn’t understand why he was resistant to open the door but to believe he was guilty of the claim. With that it was hard for the ZI to do anything about the matter. He was only released and nothing happened to police officers.

So I would say don’t cause trouble, even if you do cause the ones that you can control or defend without having to have a swollen or broken part of your body before it is known that you are innocent.


14. Don’t Miss Clearance

Clearance days are usually a day for some local government areas while two days in some areas. If you miss your, you know what that meansno allowance for you for that month and you might likely receive query which lead to extension of service.

Even if you are travelling, travel a distance that you can easily slip in back to your place of assignment in case of any mention of clearance. Or just make sure to be around during the last week or first week of every month at the least since it is usually the clearance period.


15. Forgetting Your Original Certificate

My first ordeal in the camp was when I realized that I needed my original certificate to get pass my registration process. I forgot mine at home which was a 10 hours drive from the camp. It was quite a distressing situation for me to start looking for someone who would get my original cert from a 10 hours long journey to the camp for me. To worsen the case the registration was a day to be closed. Although by some miracle of providence I overcome it but it taught me a big lesson I won’t forget in a hurry.

Even after the camp you need to realize that you are going to need your original cert with you. Gone are the days when dad or mummy had to hold it for safe keeping for you. At anytime could be your job interview so you have to be very prepared always.

I remember a guy, who missed being retained in the university where he served because he came along with the photocopy of his certificate for the interview and by the time he rushed home to get the original cert the vacancy was already taken by another prepared corp member.

Read also: Nysc Certificates: Discharge, Exemption And Exclusion


We have come so far with this article. Thank you for the gift of your time. I would always appreciate it if your stay here. We have more insightful articles like this. We hope you’ll enjoy them too.

Do well to share our post and make comments… Bye.

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