Basic Life Survival Skills (Student 101)
Life as a student is never the easiest, especially when you are schooling in a Nigerian college. The typical Nigerian family setting sees anyone in college as an adult, believing that you can fend for yourself. Sadly, this is where many students derail as they cannot keep up with their present reality.
For someone like Dele, he was what you would describe as a spoilt child, aka, ‘ajebo.’ Dele had a large family, and his parents placed him on permanent pocket money. Whenever his uncles and aunts came around, they also gave him lots of money. But, all that changed when he got into college.
Now, his family believed that he was an adult, and they would rather focus their energy on his younger ones. So, the pocket money stopped, and he was coming to terms with reality. Dele noticed how some students engaged in some illegal activities, terming it life survival. But with his upbringing, Dele was determined not to engage in anything illegal.
He believed that as a student, you can still do legal activities to make money. Luckily, he met some like minds, and they each decided to learn different skills that can help them survive as stories. And, we are going to share the skills below.
Dele has since finished college and doing great things for himself at the moment. But whenever he gets the chance to speak with students, he terms the skills, basic life survival skills.
In no particular order, some of the skills that Dele and his friend learned were:
One of Dele’s friends had a camera that he usually carried around for fun, and the group decided that he should monetize his photography skills. Of course, he initially felt scared of the idea as he had never thought of becoming a professional photographer. So, he asked a professional photographer to be his mentor so that he could understudy the photographer. Luckily for him, this photographer agreed, and in no time, he was one of the best photographers in his school. By learning photography, he learned how to take high-resolution pictures and also learned some editing techniques. He ensured to stay consistent with his photography journey while still ensuring that it does not affect his studies. Soon, he started getting bigger gigs like covering graduation ceremonies and even some other school events. Yes, he started getting recognition from his school authorities, and it let him see that he could combine photography with his degree course. At a point, this guy could barely feed. But with the help of photography, he was now a mini-celebrity in his school and even started training others. Today, he is a master photographer and engineer. Yes, he is combining two different career paths and excelling at them.
If there was one thing Dele knew he was good at, it was talking. Therefore, it was not surprising to anyone when he decided to study Mass Communication. The goal was to become a top presenter later in life. But when the money stopped coming in from home, Dele decided to try hosting some events. Now, Dele had never hosted an event before, but he hoped that his talking skills would not fail him at the moment. So, he started with hosting birthday parties for his friends. Of course, it was in small settings, but people began to notice him. Soon, some people started calling him to host their birthday parties, and they paid him for it. As time went on, various departments in the school called on Dele to be their host whenever they had events, and the gigs kept on getting bigger. Dele never imagined becoming so popular in school, but being a host came with the popularity package. While still hosting, he also decided to start a school radio show which spread through the community. Presenters were curious to know the student who had become such a force, and that is how Dele rose to fame.
One thing you should know about Dele is that he has a curious mindset and gets bored easily. Sometimes, he felt like he was being robotic while hosting shows, and he dared to do something different. His friends thought he was out of his mind as no one had ever complained about his hosting or presenting skills. But when Dele kept pestering them on how he needed to add something different to his portfolio, someone randomly suggested that he learns how to dance. And, that is how Dele became a star dance. Back then, if you were looking for an all-around entertainer in his school, his name is the first that any student will mention. Of course, his worth increased as people were always reluctant to leave whenever he hosted a show. If anyone wanted to have a show in school, they knew that the key to its success was to have Dele host the show. Also, he began to represent the school in some national and even international dance competitions. From the money he started making from all his skills, Dele was the one who started sending money back home to his siblings and even his parents.
If you think that Dele decided to go also venture into sewing, allow us to tell you that you are wrong. Understandably, Dele had an entrepreneurial spirit, but he loved to follow his passion in anything he was learning. However, his friend Ayo decided to learn how to sew. It was a hassle for Ayo at first as many people laughed at his choice. Some people went further to say that sewing is for girls alone, so they wondered why Ayo wanted to learn how to sew. But Ayo did not listen to them. After all, none of the people talking were ever going to give him money if he asked them, and he did not want to be a dependent child. Ayo’s mother knew how to sew, so Ayo started learning from her whenever home. Soon, something that started as a random and playful thought in Ayo’s head became a way to make money. After all, students love to look good for events, and they will patronize someone they feel they can hold responsible if anything goes wrong. It even got to the point that Ayo will sometimes reject some jobs when it gets too much.
One day, a group came to their school, talking about empowering students through shoemaking. Yes, trust Dele and his friends not to miss any opportunity to bring in money for them. So, they contributed to sponsoring two of their friends to learn shoemaking with the said group. After all, their shoes were always wearing out due to long-distance trekking around the campus. So, they were giddy that they would have friends who could help them fix their shoes. Now, this is not to say that the friends learned shoemaking immediately. No, it took over a year before they could perfect their craft. But it was worth it in the end. Not only could they help their friends fix little patches on their shoes or repair their soles, but they could now make shoes for other people. It was surreal the first time these guys made their shoes, and they soon established their shoe brand. It felt like a proud daddy moment for Dele as he was happy to see the growth process of himself and his friends getting better. Also, he was grateful that he met people who shared the same drive with him.
One of the girls in their group is almost always crocheting in her free time. One day, Dele asked if she had ever considered monetizing their craft. She replied that she was passionate about crocheting and felt like monetizing it would put a dip in her passion. Dele understood her point of view, but he was always amazed by her crocheting designs. So, without telling her, he began marketing her works, and soon people began placing orders. Dele was happy that other people were also appreciating her works, and now he had to find a way to convince her to fulfill the order. He was scared that she would be mad at him for marketing her crocheting craft without letting her know, but the opposite was the case. Once she realized that people were willing to buy her works for certain amounts, she decided to pursue the crocheting jobs and complete the orders. Since it was her passion, she did not feel stressed or tired while working. Low-key, she had always feared that no one would want to buy her works. So, seeing people placing orders was like a dream come through for her. As an act of appreciation, she even made a crotchet sweater for Dele.
Of course, you do not think the story will be complete if there wasn’t someone dabbling into hairdressing and barbing. Surprisingly, it was a girl in Dele’s group. She knew the basics of hairdressing and used YouTube to improve her craft. But, she wanted to cater to more people. So, she decided also to learn how to barb. Her friends were shocked and impressed when she decided to add barbing to her skill list, and they always supported her. They were her first customers, helping her to improve over time. Many people were impressed with her progress, seeing that she learned from YouTube. She helped people with their hair in the hostel and saved up to get a clipper that she used for barbing. From there, the guys would bring some of their friends around, and random people helped her with word-of-mouth advertising when they saw that she was good. With time, she could save up and get a space to engage in hairdressing and barbing services openly. Yes, some people were initially skeptical, but once they saw the magic she created, they did not hesitate to keep patronizing and even bring their friends.
In every group of friends, there is always that person that serves as the group’s cook. John was the cook of the group amongst Dele’s friends. Once he begins cooking, the aroma attracts people from other rooms. When his friends come around, they always bring an extra plate to take back to their rooms. John started wondering what he could do to get extra cash with time as he did not want to be left out of the cruise with his friends. Sadly, nothing was coming to his mind as he did not fancy learning any extra skill. Could it be that John was a bookworm who knew how to cook? So, he randomly brought it up with his friends one day, and they laughed. Puzzled, John asked why they were laughing, and they responded, saying they’ve been waiting for the day John starts a food business. With the sweetness of his food, they were sure that he would get high patronage. John had never thought of making money from cooking before. But now, he could see how everything would play out. John heeded their advice and set up his food business. He loved best that he did not need to set up a stand, as people could place orders from his Instagram page.
Being the black sheep of a group is never the best feeling, and it is what Andrew was thinking. He had tried to learn different skills, but it never worked out for him. Now, his friends were always busy with their different skills after classes, while it seemed like he had nothing going for him. It often made him sad and lost in thought. When he shared the feeling with one of the guys, he was encouraged not to give up as not everyone figured out their skills immediately. One day, he heard some people complaining about how they spent a lot of money on laundry, and it gave him an idea to start dry cleaning services. Also, he remembered that he had a washing machine at home that his parents were not using, so maybe he could borrow it. When he brought the washing machine back to school, his friends were confused and even started hailing him on how he had much money. However, he later explained the plan to them, and they were impressed. So, he set up fliers of his dry cleaning service and shared them around the campus. In no time, he began to get many customers and finally felt a sense of satisfaction.
Asides from having exceptional sewing skills, Ayo was also a geek. Sometimes, people say that it is normal for those in computer departments to be geeks. He was way ahead of his class and undoubtedly a lecturers’ favorite. While in school, he picked up drawing, an old hobby. What happened was that he stumbled on his old drawing book and decided to continue drawing. He also started making designs with his phone whenever he was free. One day, he thought to make logos for all his friends’ businesses, which came as a shocked them. As usual, the entrepreneurial spirit in them convinced Ayo to monetize his graphics design skill. He laughed it off at first as he already had his sewing skills. But they advised that it was not a bad idea if he had many things going on for him. So, he gave it a try and started making designs for different people. If anyone had a show in the school, Ayo became the people to design the fliers. He even took his services beyond the walls of his school, never failing to market his craft anywhere he finds himself. As you can tell, there was no stopping his greatness.
Students will always need basic life survival skills, but it also comes with some questions. Here are some frequently asked questions about basic life survival skills:
What do you need to survive?
Typically, the basic thing that a human needs to survive is oxygen, which also relates to students. After that, you can talk about food and water. But as a student in Lagos City Polytechnic, you will also need skills that can bring in extra money, and we have highlighted them above.
What quality do survivors have?
If you think that you are a survivor, then some of the skills you have are:
- Positive Mindset: We are sure that you have always heard people say that you are what you attract. When you have the zeal to succeed, success will always be possible. Dele and his friends had a positive mindset, and it paid off for them.
- Adaptability: You must always be able to adapt to any situation life throws at you. After all, they say that if life gives you lemons, make a lemonade out of it.
Many people say that it is not easy to survive in higher institutions, and we would agree. But, it becomes more bearable when you have skills that can help you apart from your degree.
So, as a student of Lagos City Polytechnic, ensure that you do not go through this school without picking up at least one skill before leaving.
Start using your skills to make money now and stop being dependent. Be like Dele and his friends!