Gaining admission to any university is a herculean task. If you are lucky, or should I say smart enough to attend UNILAG like myself, it is perhaps more herculean. Even if you attended a private university you still tried because we all wrote jamb, both folks like myself in federal universities and those in private universities. If you attended a private university I even salute you more because your parents must have forked out millions for your education and believe me they tried(it’s not easy to pay millions as school fees in this Nigerian economy) if it was easy almost everyone would attend a private university because ASUU strike, NASU strike or any SU strike is non of their business- which is a good thing.
So if you attended a public university or a private one, I congratulate you. You must have spent at least 4years in the university like me reading, writing exams, attending boring lectures and facing all kinds of lecturers- the funny ones, and those sadist that you’ll never get A in their course no matter the number of extra exam sheets you collect. In short asides from your Bachelors degree, you deserve an award- but since nobody will give you one, you can clap for yourself.
Now to serious business. In as much as your graduating from the university excites you(I share that feeling too) you shouldn’t be all that happy. Nigeria is probably the least country where a university graduate has prospects. I say this because there are simply no jobs and the economy is not doing well. Majority of us leave university not sure if there would be a nexus between the course we studied in school and the few jobs waiting for us outside. Even if you studied law, medicine, or any of the engineering courses it’s still not sure for you- you might end up somewhere far remote ( that’s not my prayer for you though)
The worst part of it all is that people who know you’ll be graduating will start asking you questions like “so what are you planning to do outside school”, “Are you going for master’s after NYSC” and all those questions you might not have answers to. Some people ask because they genuinely care (bless them) while others ask because they want to see you stutter, fumble and wobble out the words from your mouth as you answer their questions. Some simply ask because they want to scare you about life’s prospect- to restate the obvious – which you already know that life’s not easy, so that a fresh graduate like you will respect people like them who are hustling to make money.
The truth of the matter is that graduating from the university excites and dreads me at the same time. As a student, you still get regular stipends from home to keep body and soul together. But now that you’re graduating, those uncles and aunties will begin to sly you, expecting that as a graduate the time has come for you to start bringing something to the table. It’s not that you’re lazy or something but our society’s anachronistic educational system has done little or nothing to prepare us for life after school so its not our fault.
Now enough of the bad news. It’s not like I’m trying to scare anyone. NYSC Allowance will likely be increased to 40k, which you can start something with if you save well. Also, I’m sure you must have attended all those career talks and seminars while in school. Truth is those programs are good, but the help they offer is limited. One screams and shout when you’re in one of those career talks but you practically forget everything you’ve heard by the time you go back to your hostel and life’s vissicitudes take over.
As for me, I have no advice to give you now that you’re graduating. If I say otherwise I’d be lying. This is because I’m still thinking myself and I don’t have my Marshall plan yet. The only advice I can however give is that you think, think long and hard like I’m doing now and I believe just like there’s light at the end of every tunnel you’ll come up with something positive.