By Emmanuel Victor
I read somewhere about a writer who was to give a commencement address before a graduating class. Hear what he said: “everything is going to become unbelievably worse and might never get better again” and he walked off the stage.
I considered doing that as a warning to undergraduates, but I think it wouldn’t convey the intended message so I decided to do a brief story since people no longer have time to read lengthy text.
Reading all the way through one of my University roommate’s (Faasema Raymond) facebook post of 28 March 2017 at 08:26 titled; “LIFE, AGONIES AND REALITIES OF A NIGERIAN GRADUATE”, I became immerse/prompted to share the tale and know-how I have accumulated at the grand period of over two years post NYSC.
Second semester 400 level (The period closest to graduation), I was so eager to graduate; pause for a while the over sixteen years of the four walls of a classroom, get a decent job with any reputable organization where I can bring my qualification and expertise to practice and start living the ideal life. I was saving for the “D DAY” as it was drawing nearer.
It finally came to pass February/March 2014. As a normal ritual, all of us (graduands) trooped out dressed in white T shirts with diverse inscriptions. At the end of the final exam at the New Theatre Complex west campus, Benue State University, Makurdi, the whole campus filled with delegated blossom, you could actually hug anyone you wished to. Even those of other cliques that you barely spoke to since the beginning of hundred level. The party was a bomb and the excitement was wuhaha.
The inscription (THE STORM Z OVER) on my shirt on that day can give you an idea of my perception of what life would afford me after school. In short, it was that blind optimism I was using to encourage myself and make up for the friends I was going to miss. We told one another… we were soon going to meet at the top (helms of affairs).
I was fresh in many ways, green in the very possible sense, energetic, trusting and naïve, forward looking and secure that the world would remain as I imagined it.
Fast forward to the period closest to my passing out parade (NYSC POP), the feelings were the same, if not more, as I felt during my graduation. In short, at one of the seminars in Velos Secondary School auditorium organised by NYSC IKOM ZONE before our POP in Calabar… out of hope and our perception of life, we tong lashed the instructor that dared to let us know that we were still crude and need fine-tuning to be employable.
Again, it came to pass Oct.-Nov. 3rd 2015 (three weeks leave inclusive). Even right now as I write, I still feel the excitement of that day at Unical Sports Complex… from the colorful day, delegated blossom, the fantastic people, the excitement of being handed Zonal and State merit award and the recognition etc. I never could have thought in my wildest imagination that a year would go by without getting employed by the Federal Government.
I dare to inform/remind you that better life after school is not gotten on a platter of gold. Learn how to make money now that you are in school. It will afford you the ability to cope with the pressure of your little needs/bills after school. This by extension shall help you overcome the temptation of accepting ridiculous offers. Now, I’m saying this not because I already have it all figured out. I’m afraid I still struggle to make my life better.
One of my friends who got an offer from a cosmetic company showed to me the ridiculous agreement/condition she was given – she can only resign and leave the company after a year… that means she can’t go even if there is a better offer elsewhere – she entered into it before she could get the menial job of selling.
Nowadays employers are very clever, they have inviting tacts and can use job title to deceive you. Some of our families would wage jihad against us if they know our job titles, not knowing it’s just a name tag (they give you peanut as take home).
Life after school is full of confusion when not planned. I was at a seminar where an instructor warned us about undermining a little beginning, at the same seminar another instructor taught us that underemployment is worse than unemployment. Or is it about the employer that wants a twenty two years old graduate with over five years working experience?
To be continued in my next article; “choice of the twenty first century employer”
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Call me: 08109806191
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