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Three things you can do with your time during ASUU strike

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Both parents and students can attest to the negative effects of the ASUU strike on their lives. However, we want to encourage those affected with certain things you can do with your time.

The Academic Staff Union of Universities, commonly known as ASUU, commenced an indefinite strike since March 2020. Now while there are ongoing conversations between the union and the Federal Government to resolve the impasse it is really, quite disheartening that so many children’s education has been stalled, for no fault of theirs.

I want us to focus on what both parents and the youth who are involved in this current situation can do and how to use their time effectively. While frustrating, and while the situation is being sorted out there are certain things you need to accept. First of all, is to accept the fact that you cannot control certain things; such as nobody knows when classes will resume, or when school will go back to normal.

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The only thing you can do is to control what you can, which is your own action. And I know it seems very simple to say that but in reality, of course, there is a lot of frustration. So, what can we actually do to make sure that we don’t let the frustration lead to mental health challenges and feelings of depression? The answer is for you to take control of your actions and your time. Additionally, you want to focus on continuing your education and skill acquisition in other ways.

Learn and Acquire New Skills
Thankfully, we are in a very global, connected world nowadays, and there are a lot of websites that are offering fantastic content. Some of these are from top universities, all over the world, teaching topics on everything.

I advise that rather than use your time to hang out on social media only or rant on Twitter, you should use that time to go out and figure out what you are interested in learning. 

Today, there are several skill sets required to be employable in today’s world. I am sure we can all agree that skills such as coding, digital media and online marketing are in high demand. Sign up and enroll and start learning at home. For example, Google is offering a free Digital skills training and upon completion; you can get a certification, which can be added to your CV.

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There are several other sources such as Facebook, Udemy, Coursera where you can find various courses for free, or for a small fee you can choose to get a certificate of completion. Our youth need to be creative and think about CV building activities whether in or out of school. It is imperative that everyone is a life long learner, especially during the digital age when things change so fast.

Volunteering and Internships
One of the things I know is that every business needs some help and students can offer their services either through volunteering or seeking internship roles.

The reality is that right now, no matter what industry you are in, because of the pandemic and the lockdown, most people have had to scramble to suddenly implement a digital strategy into their businesses.

For example, I use the services of a virtual assistant, and you will be amazed at how many businesses need somebody to take care of certain tasks. There are several small businesses that would not mind having you on a retainer and to help them with tasks such as their social media strategy. So, it is really about thinking about looking around and asking what are people hiring for and what services can you offer?

Could you offer simple accounting services for small businesses and file their taxes, you could do all this right from your home. Do you like to create content or write; you could offer these services as well. Focus on building your skillset, and this is very possible, by volunteering or by doing a short-term internship.

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I want to advise that you do not think about the money alone, but rather about building skills that would make you even more employable. Nowadays, there is a larger focus on real skills; than just on a degree without any work experience or transferrable skillset.

Start an Online Business
It is very easy; more than any time in our human existence, to start a business right now from your house. The reality is that anybody can start a business from home. All you need is to find the right audience and the right customer base. The strategic use of digital tools and technology as an enabler is critical. Once you have access to the Internet and a smart device, you are good to go.
If you are offering products, you can easily find a logistics company and deliver to people in your community and anywhere in the world.

For some students, they were earning while they were on campus and perhaps need a certain amount to survive. In such cases, it is important to set a smart goal and to start working backwards. You can start by asking, “How much you need to earn?” Next, you accept that Okay, you are at home right now. Then ask yourself, how can you use the Internet to help you reach some of your goals?

The power of a SMART goal is that it is Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Time-bound. It is easier for you to feel that you are making progress in your life if you take some action. This is a better option than bemoaning your fate at the mercy of systems and people you cannot change. You have to focus on having the right attitude and mentality. The reality is that, if you get sucked into a disempowered and depressive state; it will be very difficult to come out of it.

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