I’m going to be 23 in a few days and I wanted to share some of the biggest lessons I learnt as a 22 year old. I hope they help some of you and save you the stress of learning them the hard way.
First things first,
1. Avoid having just one source of income:
The hustle in Nigeria is very real. Sometimes you can be employed and your bank account will not know it because salary does not enter like that. So, get a side hustle, if you can get a second job that allows you work remotely. I could have learnt this the hard way but I’m grateful I didn’t and it payed off. The pay for your side gig doesn’t have to be fantastic because this could just be to supplement your income and keep you alive should someone owe you salary.
2. Savings are still a thing:
The honest truth is that it’s very difficult to save if you live in Nigeria but savings will keep you alive. Take away a portion of your monthly income(s) and keep it somewhere, it could be really small like N5,000 a month or really large. It depends on how much you make. Just make sure something is being saved. Here’s a tip, open a bank account and do not collect a debit card and dont download the bank app. If I’m being totally realistic with you, you most likely will dip into your savings before you want to, but at least you had savings to start with.
3. Don’t lose sight of the bigger picture:
This is something I continue to grapple with, because for a lot of us young people, our present jobs or internships are not where we really want to be but we have to pay the bills to fund our dreams. I’ve tried to not lose sight of my dreams, I keep reminding myself about them and keep working towards them. Whether it’s furthering a career, going back to school or an alternate career path, don’t get lost in the sauce you’re currently in.
4. Do your job well:
There are a lot of things that are complain-worthy in the workplace on a daily basis, one thing you don’t want anyone complaining about is your work ethic. At the very least you want every complain about your work ethic to be left without a leg to stand on. Do your job well, show up to work on time, let everything you need to do be done before you work closes. Part of doing your job well is that you ask questions and are completely clear on what is expected of you. I tried to do this a lot this year, I always asking and trying to understand what was expected on every given task and I like to think it paid off.
For the first few months this year my reading habit was out of the widow. Scratch that, I didn’t have a reading habit because I wasn’t reading anything. I’d like to tell you that there was some larger than life reason why that happened but it was just laziness. I had to sit myself down and remind myself how important it was to keep learning and acquiring new information and after that talk I stood up and went to find something to read. To be honest it doesn’t matter much whether you’re reading novels or some philosophical book about purpose of mosquitoes, just make sure you’re reading something.
Let me just add that you don’t get points for finishing every book you open. If the book wasn’t what you thought it would be dump it and move on to another one. It’s not by force.
6. NYSC is a waste of your time so give yourself something better to do.
These are some of the best lessons I’ve learnt this year. They’ve helped me, I hope they help you too and if there’s any tip you want to add, the comment section is wide open. I’d love to hear from you.