1. The joy of graduation Phase: The dream of every student admitted to a higher institution is to graduate one day, most especially at when due. The joy of graduation phase is when as a graduate you realize this goal of becoming a graduate. Depending on the course you studied, on graduation you are addressed as a professional in your course area. If you read law, you become a lawyer, if you read medicine you become a medical doctor and so on. When you wrote your final exam, and result is pasted and you find your name in the list of successful students, your joy would know no bound. At last, your wildest dream has come to pass. The joy and happiness you experience at this phase is so profound that it can’t be described in words. If you have passed through this phase, definitely you will agree with me that my assertion is true.
2. Awaiting NYSC Phase: In Nigeria, every graduate is expected to serve the nation for a year after graduating from the higher institution. This exercise is compulsory for all graduates except few who met the requirement for exception. The awaiting NYSC phase is the period between leaving school and joining the national youth service (NYSC). To most graduates, this is a resting period, and to some, usually few, the hustle for the dream job begins. Some enroll to learn skill, volunteer to work for NGO or company they would like to work for after NYSC, some took temporary job to make some cash, but the majority spends this period in frivolity. How long this period will last depends on how effective your school is at mobilizing graduates for the National youth service program. The awaiting NYSC phase ranges from weeks to months and sometimes a year even more, it all depends on your school.
3. The NYSC Phase: This is a phase every Nigerian graduate desire to experience. In fact most graduates have been yearning for this phase as far back as their secondary school days. Seeing a corps member fully kitted is something the average Nigerian envy, and always desire to be part of. This period is characterized by joy, happiness and great hope. The camp experience is always full of fun, and spending a year in one’s place of primary assignment is also exciting. This is one of the stages in life when the average Nigerian graduate feels a high sense of achievement. It is important to note that what you do or fail to do at this level has a way of determining how life would be for you after NYSC.
4. After NYSC Phase: The after NYSC Phase begins from the day you obtain your discharged certificate. This period is a challenging phase in the life of the average graduate. However, how you manage the previous phases will determine how you will feel or how challenging this face would be. The common question people ask themselves at this phase is what next? Having achieving your goal of becoming a graduate, and ready for the world of work, your next level is getting into your dream career or getting your dream Job.
This phase gives birth to two other phases. You may pass through the two and you may not, it all depends on your situation and how prepared are you for the real world.
5. Job Searching/Starting a Career Phase: The after NYSC phase always gives birth to this phase and to the average Nigerian graduate, it is a very challenging phase. This is the phase where you begin to search for the dream job, or you launch your business. Most graduates at this phase follow the former path, which is searching for the dream job. Your success at this phase depends on how prepared you are for the phase. Also if you have people who are highly connected and influential that can fix you in your dream job you may not have issue. If you are well prepared for this phase, you will get your dream job on merit. How long this phase will last can’t be defined. For some it may take few weeks, for some months, for some 5 years and above depending on who is involve.
6. The Display of Success Versus Hibernation Phase: This phase is worth mentioning. It is one of the phases given birth to by the after NYSC phase, which is a direct result of what happens in the job searching/starting a career phase. Those who succeeded getting a job or have a booming business would take to their social media account to display their success. Graduates who count themselves successful at this phase show off their achievement by uploading pictures that they took at work on social networks such as facebook, twitter and instagram with statements that depicts that life has been good to them. Example of such statements include: Oluwa is involve (God is involve), Jesus did it, level don change( there is change of level) and so on.
On the other side of the display of success phase is Hibernation phase. It is a phase no one pray to find himself, but the truth is that thousands of Nigerian graduates ended up at this phase, not because they are dull, or not brilliant, most of them are there because of the Nigerian messy system. This phase is hell on earth for Nigerian graduates. It occurs as results of failure at the job search/starting a career phase. The majority of graduates you found at this phase are mostly graduates who have been unable to secure a decent job after so many years of leaving the university or polytechnic. They have applied for jobs, written aptitude test, went for interviews as the case maybe but have not been able to secure a job.
They also lack technical skills (trade or handwork) they could employ to earn money by providing service to people in their community and some of them who are interested in starting a business lack the capital required to implement their business idea. Graduates at this phase do all kinds of odd jobs, not because they like it , but because they have no choice of what they could do to earn a living. They become tired of life, depressed, frustrated and totally helpless. The average graduate passing through this phase has the likelihood of seeing the years he spent for obtaining a degree as a waste, having seeing his or her childhood friends who probably didn’t go beyond secondary school doing better financially.
Also Read: 5 Things You Need to Survive in the Real World as a Nigerian Graduate
All these negative experiences would make the victim graduate exhibit a kind of behaviour I called HIBERNATION. They will start hiding from their friends especially classmates due to the fact that they feel underachieved or living far below their potential. It is the shame that such feeling brings that often leads to hibernation. They are always on social media, but they will never post anything on their wall, or upload new pictures unlike their counterparts who are at the display of success phase. They will stop calling and try to avoid chatting with you. You will see them online, send them a message. They won’t reply until you log out, so as not to maintain a steady communication with you. The most dreadful question you can ever ask this people is where are you now? What are you doing? How much is your monthly take home? Questions like this make them frustrated, and make them sad, simply for the fact that they are not proud of what the answers are.
Also Read: The Courage to Start Small and Grow Big
If you are currently at the hibernation phase, I want you to know that being there is not the end of life. You will definitely get to your next level if you keep trying. Always remember that tough times don’t last but tough people do.
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