In this post, I will share 15 tips for surviving NYSC orientation camp with you. Most Nigerian graduates look forward to their NYSC orientation camp experience. It’s like being in a world of their own: fewer responsibilities, they get to meet new friends, and they get to start earning a stipend at the end of every month for the next one year.
However, the truth is that the NYSC orientation camp is both stressful and fun. To some people, it is more stressful than fun. To others, it is more fun than stressful, even though they might all be in the same camp. So, I guess it’s safe to say that everyone is responsible for creating their respective experiences. Surviving NYSC orientation camp shouldn’t be hard if you follow the tips I am going to share with you.
In my own case, the fun stuff outweighed the stressful stuff. Perhaps, because I was well informed about camp activities before leaving for camp.
Anyway, I’ll share with you 15 tips that made NYSC orientation camp bearable for me. I’m pretty sure they’ll help you as well.
Below are my 15 tips for surviving NYSC orientation camp:
1. Arrive at the camp early
The first step to making your NYSC orientation camp experience a memorable one is to get to camp early enough. You see, when you arrive at the NYSC camp early enough, you’ll be able to start and end your camp registration in good time to avoid the rush and frustration that comes with the crowd. You’ll also get some of the best accommodation in the camp unlike the late birds.
Depending on how close your home is to your NYSC orientation camp, you can either leave very early in the morning or a day to when the camp opens.
2. Don’t forget to go to NYSC orientation camp with more than enough cash
Yes, you heard right. You’re going to need a lot of cash. Even though, food will be provided in camp for everyone, there’s a high tendency that you’d be hungry most of the time, so you’ll need more food. With your extra cash, you can eat and drink as you want.
You’d also need to buy a couple of stuff for survival from time to time. So, again, go with enough cash.
3. Make friends with people in the orientation camp
The NYSC orientation camp lasts for 3 weeks. Surely, you don’t intend to spend all that time observing people. I’m pretty sure you’d get bored.
Make new friends with people around you; your roommate, platoon mates, the soldiers at the camp, SAED members, etc. Spending time with other people will give you something to look forward to while you’re in camp. Have friends in every group, so that you’d have people to share every activity in the camp with.
4. Don’t just be a spectator in your platoon
Some people make friends with their roommates, and ignore their platoon members. The truth is that whether you like it or not, you’ll be spending at least 5-6 hours of your time with your platoon members daily. So, get involved. The goal is to enjoy every bit of camp. Don’t reserve the fun for your room. Have fun on the NYSC orientation camp field, in your room, on the kitchen, mammy, everywhere.
5. Sleep as soon as it is light out
Light out is usually by 10 pm. To make life easier for you, I suggest you sleep as soon as the lights are out so that you can get at least 6 hours of sleep before camp activities begin. You see, everyone is expected to wake up at the sound of the bugle at 4:30 am. So, when you don’t get enough sleep at night, you’ll find yourself feeling tired all through the day. The implication of this is that you’ll start feeling frustrated, wishing you could quit camp.
6. Wake up before the bugle sounds at 4:30 am
Not only should you sleep early in NYSC orientation camp, you should also wake up early, before everyone else.
Here’s the thing: the bathrooms and toilets in orientation camp are always limited. So, everyone’s trying to have their bath at the same time in order to report for morning devotions and parade at the right time. So, to have an edge over others, try to wake as early as 3:30 am or 4:00 am to get ready before others. You’d be glad you did.
7. Go to NYSC orientation camp with your power bank
In camp, power banks are lifesavers. So, there’s a period in the day where everyone gets bored and tired of the activities going on around them. All that is usually left to do at such times is to surf the Internet. However, most rooms do not have electricity outlet for charging devices. The available option is to take your devices to the mammy, have them charged and pay the vendor. So, with your power bank, however, you can easily charge your devices all day long, and when you’re free, you can take the power bank to the mammy center to have it charged.
8. Take some provisions along to the NYSC orientation camp
To avoid spending all your cash on food, it’ll wise to take some provisions along to camp.
9. Your waist pouch should be your mobile suitcase at the camp
Your waist pouch shouldn’t just an a fashion piece to accessorize your clothes, it should be your mobile suitcase.
In NYSC orientation camp, your daily activities will look like this. Morning devotion and man-o-war drills, then breakfast. Next is 5 hours non-stop SAED lecture, then lunch. Finally, evening drills, dinner and extra curricular activities. So, you see, your days will be busy. You won’t be allowed into the hostel when designated activities for the day are taking place. So, your best option is to go out with everything that you want. That’s what your waist pouch is for. You can put your money and other valuable in it, as well as snacks for when you get hungry.
10. Document your NYSC orientation camp experience
To enjoy your NYSC orientation camp experience, then you need to it as some form of adventure. To make it even fun, document your experience. You can write about it or take pictures of different activities. Post the pictures on your social media accounts or create a series with it. Be free to express yourself any way that you like.
11. Be involved in morning drills and devotion on the NYSC orientation camp
Morning drills and devotion are a must for everyone. So, whether you choose to participate in it or not, you have to be on the field with everyone else. That’s the rule. So, instead of spending all that time (about 3 hours) complaining about the camp, why not get involved?
12. Hang out with friends in mammy
Once you’ve made friends in camp, the next thing is to find ways to enjoy each other’s company while you’re in camp. Luckily, you’ve got mammy, a place where you can buy everything that you need in camp. Most mammies have food and drink spots. So, you can consider hanging out with your friends there.
13. Be involved in the NYSC orientation camp carnival
Camp carnival is a fun activity in camp. Every platoon is expected to be creative with their carnival looks. There’s usually music, costumes, etc. Get involved and enjoy the experience. You might never be lucky to attend any other carnival in your lifetime. So, go for it.
14. Look forward to campfire night
Campfire night usually takes place towards the end of camp. Everyone’s excited that the NYSC orientation camp is almost over. It’s like a night party to celebrate your time in camp. So, enjoy the experience.
15. Volunteer to join a group
There are tons of groups in NYSC orientation camp. There’s Red cross society, broadcasting crew, sports, drama and social groups, etc. Choose any club or group that you’re most interested in, and be a part of them.
Yes, NYSC orientation camp may be stressful, but try to look forward to creating a wonderful experience for yourself while you are there. When it’s all over, you’d be glad you did. Follow these tips for surviving NYSC orientation camp and you would have a wonderful experience.