13 Life Lessons Every Nigerian Student Should Know Before Obtaining a First degree

13 Life Lessons Every Nigerian Student Should Know Before Obtaining a First degree

As a student you probably would not believe us if we tell you that are absolutely naive and no, you are not on top of the world.

You will soon graduate from the university, service year is going to be awesome (at least according to the stories you’ve heard).

After service, you are going to get a job, have a family, build a home, become a millionaire and live happily ever after.

There is just one problem with your plan. The only problem with your plan is the real world.

This article is to let you know things to look out for before you graduate. You will find this information useful.

1. A Degree Does Not Entitle You To A Job

We all know getting a degree means a lot of hard work and commitment but because you have a degree does not mean somebody is going to grant you an automatic job offer.

Gone are the days when all you needed to get a good job was a university degree.

We were all told the same lies in secondary school, get a university degree and a mouth watering job would fall on your lap.

The smart people are the ones who figured out this lie early in school and made sure the time they spent in school would separate from other students who were busy enjoying school life to the fullest.

Summary,  put in extra effort to stand out, do not focus your energy solely on making the best grade. Ensure you sharpen your skills, natural abilities. Know that self-employment, entrepreneurship is not a crime.

It’s time to get your head out of the sand.

2. Start The Job Search Before You Graduate

Job hunting is a complicated thing and there is no almighty formula for you to acquire a job. Job seeking is not something you can “cram” for and pour out everything during an exam. There are no cheat notes for post-graduation experience.

The job hunting business is an on-the-training experience and the best way to get ahead of your colleagues is to start your career exploration during your service year or better yet during your university days.

You can research branches of your field, do internships (industrial trainings), find out what size of company is for you, and practice job searching techniques.

Identify the companies you will like to work with and find out what it takes to work with them. You can do this by signing up an account on linkedin. Many of these companies have their staff and profile on linkedin.

Also, when you undergo your Industrial training in a reputable company, ensure to impress to create a possibility of being employed when you graduate.

Put these tips in play and by the time you’re done with service, you’ll be prepared for the next phase of your life and it will be quite tricky for reality to hit you with tons of bricks.

3. Facebook Is Forever

Not just facebook, but twitter, instagram, and every other social network that you decide to be a part of.

What does this mean to an average student? Well it means that every obscure joke you post on Facebook, every explicit picture you share, every inappropriate comment will be visible to the world when you become famous or when you go job hunting.

At the very least, know how to manipulate your social media privacy settings and restrain yourself from littering your social media accounts with unfitting content.

Being appropriate on the web is just as important for a political career as it is for finding employment. Your binge drinking photos might be funny now but they won’t be so hilarious in five years time.

During my undergraduate years, you will not find me roaming aimlessly on facebook.  “facebook is forever” means concentrate more on your studies now, do less of social media, visit educational and career counseling portals more eg knowbaseconsult.com, wikipedia.com and also know that there is more to social media than the “annoying” use it is put. I will be glad to tell you more about social media, but thats after you have graduated. For those who have posted careless photos and writings, remember you can delete them, go ahead…..delete them.

The only social media portal I advise you to be active on as an undergraduate is linkedin.com

4. Life Is Expensive if you do not add value

You are probably surviving on the allowance you receive from your parents right now and you’ve realized that life can be expensive, EXPENSIVE.

Just wait until you have to live on your own, probably during service year or when you get your first job.

By the time you pay for house rents, transportation fare, recharge cards, light bills, water bills, food, utilities, and every miscellaneous expense. It won’t take long before you realize that life is expensive.

Everything would suddenly become so expensive that you would sometimes feel like crying.

This is one of the most painful things to learn. EVERYTHING costs money.

Anytime from now, you should learn how to create a budget for yourself. Otherwise your rent will be due, your kitchen will be empty and you will be busy dodging from the people you owe money.

In contrast, Life is not expensive! At some point in life you may not be able to afford all you want. But if you explore your creativity and add value, you will be able to afford all you want later in life.

5. Never Be Scared To Take Chances

This is probably the most important lesson you have to learn before you graduate, never be scared to take chances. You’ll never get anywhere you want if you don’t take calculated risks every now and then.

No one is telling you to jump out of a plane or go swimming with crocodiles (which would be awesome if you survive), but nothing in life comes easy. Yes, it is cliché, but it the hard truth. After all, nothing can deputise experience.

When you become a graduate, the best option is not becoming a boring office robot whose life revolves around work.

Your twenties and thirties are the some of the best years of your life, we kid you not.

Do not be afraid to face the real world with open arms, explore opportunities, and take chances. You’ll be surprised at what fate has in stock for you.

Prepare your mind for entrepreneurship. Think how your skills, ability fit into the environment you find yourself. Find the needs of the people around you and work out a solution. Successful people solve problems by providing information, a product or service.

6. Learn How To Interact With People

Learning how to interact is a very valuable skill you need to have in your belt. It is a “street smart” skill. You could read a million books on how to interact with people but the only way to develop your interaction skill is to put it into practice constantly until it becomes a part of you.

This skill will surely be tested each time you go for a job interview. Heck! You even need this job more if you are an entrepreneur.

Learn to greet people with a smile. Say “thank you, please and I appreciate” whenever the situation deems necessary. These small gestures go a long way to make a huge difference. Don’t be so quick to dismiss the power of appreciation and courtesy.

Make small talk, get to know anyone you have to spend more than thirty minutes with, help them if you can. Who knows? You might meet your own saviour.

Don’t know what to talk about? You could talk about the TV shows you watch, the cool blogs you visit on the net (don’t forget to mention giftedgreen.com), the weather – hint hint : ).

Learn to be always positive, make sure people smile after talking to you.

7. A Skill Will Get You Farther Than A Certificate

What we recommend is that you pick up as many skills as possible, as long as you have a passion for it. Do not say “I am studying English Language, why do I need to learn HTML?” If you are computer major, take a couple of management trainings. It will help you in the long run.

The skills you acquire do not necessarily have to be educational; you could learn tailoring, baking, programming, carpentry . . . anything. You never know when your minor skill will become your added advantage, or your primary source of income.

Not only that, you will be able to converse with a larger variety of different people, plus it shows your employer that you are a fast and versatile learner.

During my ICT with International Energy and Services Limited (IESL) in 2008, I had a desktop computer to myself and internet connectivity. I learnt html,CSS on homeandlearn.co.uk, I learnt AutoCAD, I received some software application training on alison.com, I learnt to use Microstation for drafting etc

I was an undergraduate of Mechanical Engineering you know, these skills and the others I have acquired over the years, makes me care less of paid employment. I currently secured a job with an Oil and Maritime firm, the skills I have made me stand out amongst other applicants.

8. Add Value to Yourself

Invest in yourself. Attend training’s that are relevant to your course, profession, hobbies, relevant abilities and interest. Invest money to buy a laptop and use it productively. Put in for professional exams.

Eat well, spend money to eat good food.

9. You Are Going To Need Lots of Hardwork

You are now a graduate, you no longer need to read through the night, attend boring lectures and write difficult examinations. Your life should be an easy pie from here. Right? Wrong.

In fact, this is the time that you need to work harder than you imagined, if you want to be successful.

Although you could relax; get a federal government appointment, and retire on your pension. This is perfect, if you want to be mediocre.

We are you are among those that want to be successful. In order to do that, you are going to need a lot of brain work, stay up late at nights and lots of reading if you are going to be among the 1%.

Even if your father is a billionaire, it’s a lot of hard work maintaining all that money.

What people call hardwork, I refer to as work smart. There is nothing hard in doing what you strongly believe in. Work Smart and be open to learning, change.

10.Success Takes Time

After applying all these, do not expect to become a millionaire overnight, or in a week or in a month. Success takes time.

No matter the amount of hard work, Success takes time.

If you are in a hurry to be successful, you will either fall prey to money swindlers or get yourself entangled in something highly illegal. Neither of them sounds good.

11. Apply for Undergraduate Scholarship opportunities to take tuition fee payment off the shoulders of your parent.

Stay connected to reputable web portals that publish scholarship information regularly. Among them are knowbaseconsult.com, Q and A App, scholarship-positions.com and Scholastica.ng

I will also advice you to engage your holidays in extra-activities with organisations who provide products, services related to your course of study or interest. Some undergraduates manage to gather over two years of work experience before they graduate you know. I once met a graduate who had just completed his NYSC with 2 years of working experience. How it happened?He made the best of his holidays.

13. Source Study Materials, Past Questions and Answers from Q and A App.
You can source and distribute Past Questions and Answers from Q and A App. These includes Professional Exams Questions, Job Test Questions and Answers, WAEC, NECO, Post Jamb and Career Resources. Download Q and A from Playstore.

Note: If you have similar interest in the skills I acquired during my IT, visit the portals i referenced earlier in my analysis.

That’s all for now!

You don’t have to wait until you graduate to gain these little nuggets of wisdom. Put them to use! Then start collecting some of your own

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Article Credit: Adapted from GREENGIFTED

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