has been a few years since students in Nigerians had to deal with
long-term strikes; and just at the moment we thought the era of students
having to stay an extra 2 to 3 years in school due to unnecessary
strikes by championed by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU)
was over, they strike again.
It certainly felt like Deja Vu when the National President Of The Union, Dr. Biodun Ogunyemi,
announced this on Monday at a meeting of the National Executive Council
(NEC) of ASUU in Abuja that there would be an indefinite strike and
that during the strike, there will be no teaching, no examination and no
attendance of statutory meetings of any kind in any of the union’s
branches across the country.
There is some value in ASUU going on strike. They hope that issues
such as payment of fractions/ non-payment of salaries, as well as Earned
Academic Allowances (EAA); refusal to release the operational license
of NUPEMCO; and the non-implementation of the provisions of the 2014
Pension Reform Act with respect to retired professors and their
salaries, will be sorted.
It is easy for affected students to get into a lazy mode, where they
sit around doing nothing or just meshing the entire time into one long
continual nap fest…wasting valuable time and making no positive strides
in their life all through the period of the strike.
If you are one of the affected students and you are wondering how you
could possibly make this “indefinite” time worth your while, you may
want to consider a handy list of helpful suggestions.
Start a Business
There is no age too young for becoming an entrepreneur. Use this period
at home to start a small business. You could either sell products or
render a service. The good thing is that you do not necessarily need a
large capital to get yourself started. You also have the social media as
a very important promotional tool.
You could start a home cleaning service or food delivery service…there are so many options.
Managing a business gives you a lot of opportunities to gain a lot of
experience with will be beneficial when you eventually conclude your
Learn a new skill
You finally have the time to learn a new skill. It could be photography,
jewelry making, learning to play an instrument like the saxophone or
guitar, baking, writing and producing music or playing a sport like
football, tennis or volleyball. Take the time to learn it and get really
good at it. Not only does it give you an edge and provide opportunities
for a side hustle, it will help build your self-confidence and give you
value for time invested.
Enroll for a professional certification course
The university might be closed but there are other avenues for learning.
You can enroll in short courses online or for professional classes that
will grant you certain qualifications that may become relevant in
future. Even if you do not have the money to pay for these courses, you
can go for free ones on portals like Coursera or Edx.
You don’t necessarily have to get a certificate; the idea is to acquire
new knowledge that will be relevant to your career goals or aspirations.
Get a job
While you are at home, you might as well make a little money. Get a job
as an intern or assistant in an office or company. You can even get a
job as a paid apprentice at a salon or creative studio. Even more, you
may decide to go for something freelance like writing or blogging.
The beauty of the internet is that you can get connected to so many
job opportunities without necessarily breaking a sweat. The money made
may not be the kind that will set you up for life, but it may be enough
for extra chills…and then again, working would be fun and educational.
You learn the value of time and money and attain the essence of work
ethic and work culture.
Volunteering is a great way to give back to the society or just do some
good with your time. You can volunteer at NGOs or religious
organizations, where the aim is to help others and better the society.
You could also get involved in a number of empowerment programs
tailored for young people where certain skillsets you possess may be
There is a measure of accomplishment and sense of fufilment that
comes with serving humanity. It also exposes you to great opportunities
like trainings, travel e.t.c.
There is never a bad time to travel. As a student, you may not have a
lot of resources available for long leisurely trips, but you can visit
another state within the country or just other cities within your state.
Travelling can be fun and educational at the same time for students.
It is also a great way for students to learn more about the world
around you and open yourself to alternative cultures tradition and
lifestyles. You could travel to other African cities or continents if
you can afford it or you have a sponsor as well. The important thing
though, is that you keep your ear on the ground while on your travels,
so you are well informed when the strike is called off.
Attend seminars and personal development events
The period at home maybe offer a great opportunity to imrove on your
social skills. Attend conferences and seminars as well as events. It
does not have to be professional or vocational seminars or events. It
could be events that offer opportunites to explore your hobbies or just
enjoy yourself. Also, it offers opportunities for networking and exposes
you to new connections. It could be book readings, slam poetry
competitions, meetups, concerts e.t.c
The truth is that, being on an “indefinite” strike sucks; however,
being positive about how you spin it, could make the time really worth
your while. Can you think of other ways students can engage themselves
pending when ASUU calls off the strike?