The other day, I was having a chat with my NYSC boss when he asked about my post service plans. I started going on and on about the course I want to do, masters, travelling, etc. And then he asked when I’d return home. I was like after youth service, I’ll go home for a while before setting out. He insisted that that would be a visit and not a return. So when would I return home? I had no answer. I had no plans of returning home to live for God-knows-how-long with my parents. My boss asked if I went to a boarding school and I said yes. He finally concluded that it was as he expected, that children who attended boarding schools end up trying to escape home forever.
Of course, I fought him on it. I said I wasn’t trying to escape home. I just wanted to be open to more opportunities than being home would provide. But deep down, I know the truth. I ran away from home in 2005 and I haven’t returned since.
In 2005, I was sent to the boarding house of an all-girls Unity College. It was family tradition that all children must receive secondary education in a boarding school. At first I couldn’t wait to go home during breaks and holidays, but later it became that I couldn’t wait to go back to school to meet all my friends.
In July 2011, I finished secondary school by January 2012, I was already in the University of Port Harcourt, three-hours and two states away from home. I was overjoyed. Far away from the control of family, I could live on my own terms. I was barely 16 and I was already seeking independence by all means because boarding had taught me that home was meant to be visited thrice a year. There were years I went home for a total of one month put together in an entire year and it wasn’t because I didn’t like my family, I just didn’t know how to be at home for long periods of time. Imagine how crazy the six months ASUU strike of 2013 made me.
In December 2015, I finished Uni and I went home, convinced that I would be called for National Youth Service by March 2016. When February came and there was no indication that March would work out, I ran to my sister’s house. I found some work, did a couple of things just to avoid going back home. Home was for visiting as far as I was concerned.
This is 2017. By November I’d have completed my one year compulsory youth service and run out of excuses to live away from home. Every time I think about this, I feel claustrophobic. It doesn’t help that there dozens of articles on the internet about how difficult it is to live with Nigerian parents after graduation. Now I’m stuck between going back home in November or finding employment in Benin or anywhere else pending when I can leave for masters (which I can’t even afford yet o). Kai! I want to ultimately blame boarding school but I know it isn’t the case for everyone. Maybe it’s just the quirks in my personality…
Am I over thinking this? Do you live with your parents? What is the experience like?
P.S: the blog now uses disqus comments. If you don’t already have a disqus account, you’ll be required to sign up with disqus just once before you can comment. Disqus is a really great comments platform, guys. Do you think this is a good idea? Please let me know.