112 Views

A word from the wise: a testament to the daily good work done at the Student Advice Centre

Drug addiction is just one of the many issues leaving some students crying out for much needed help. (Photo: Andres Rodriguez)

Drug addiction is just one of the many issues leaving some students crying out for much needed help. (Photo: Andres Rodriguez)

“This is not an FAQ service – it’s a matter of choosing life” – Sussex Alumnus, 2002 – 2005

“I received a First Class honours degree from Sussex in 2005, propelling me to my career aim, of working as an HE tutor after I complete my doctoral work.

The student advice centre was a central part of my experience at Sussex, not least for the times when I felt I could not find the strength to keep motivated or give the course what I needed to do well. I spoke with advisers about loneliness, frustrations associated with money worries, invaluable help in the latter stages to do with finding MA funding and realistic advice about my proposed career path. I supported my degree with an LEA fees grant, a student loan, and in times of extreme difficulty, I received Hardship funding to get me through the term. The student support was utterly central – I can remember strongly walking into the offices feeling distraught, and leaving with the immense feeling of relief that comes from being properly supported.

Perhaps the main reason I felt compelled to write this testimonial though relates to an incident which involved another student. I was not making many friends in the first year, and so felt very isolated – most people seemed only to want to go out and party, I was pretty disappointed and miserable by the experience. Until I met David – an intelligent and quiet man who had fled a war-torn country some years before with his family and settled in Scotland. We would sit on a particular bench near Bramber House and talk about European history, our plans – we were friends in a gentle way and felt quite separate from the other people in our halls.

But then I found out that David was getting into taking heroin. He stopped bothering to leave his room, and each time his girlfriend visited his addiction got worse, though for a long time he was just smoking it – I could see which way things were heading. I didn’t know what to do, and even though I told people in the halls I thought were respectful and could deal with the situation together, everyone responded with a kind of disgusted witch-hunt, in that particularly adolescent way: “Urrrghhh! I don’t want him touching my cups! What a freak!” etc. The thing was, given that I felt this bond with David, and was struggling socially to connect with anyone on campus, I could have so easily tried it with him and become deadened to such a pernicious drug. I could see him changing though, and on the one time he did offer, I refused.

Knowing that the situation was serious, and my housemates were treating it as if it was just like “living with a tramp”, I went to the advice centre in complete confidence. They counselled me about the addiction, about how they would have to deal with removing any student abusing drugs, and handled things so delicately and respectfully, it was the boost I needed. I talked things over with him several times, knowing in my heart that to try and ‘save’ a friend from addiction is misplaced – protecting yourself becomes just as important. The advisers would have had to step in anyway, but sure enough, as his addiction worsened, his mother came to try and look after him, and eventually he left the university and began treatment at a rehab clinic in Brighton.

As I progressed with the degree, I stopped writing to him because I knew, sadly, he wasn’t getting better any time soon and I couldn’t give myself to a friendship when the person wasn’t really there. I am still sad about this, but am so greatly relieved I could go somewhere in complete confidence – I can honestly say that without this I could have completely messed up not only my degree, but my professional future – even my life. I hope David found a way out of it.

This is not the kind of support or information you can find by ‘clicking through links’ or going to an FAQ page – which I am sure will come to replace the service in this new, bleaker era of Sussex’s mismanagement. Sure, I could have contacted a range of external services that would not have been trained to deal with the specifics of the situation: this was my friend, on a university campus, in the grip of heroin addiction.

Does the Vice Chancellor care to imagine what other kinds of situations may go unchecked by dismantling this essential service?”

The Student Advice centre can be found on the first floor of Falmer House, and is open 11am-2pm Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

This article was taken from an independent blog set up by students to anonymously share their personal experiences of the student advisors. To see more go to:

http://advicetestimonials.blogspot.com/

Get the best viral stories straight into your inbox!

Don't worry, we don't spam

Leave a Reply

Join the Badger Team

Apply today!

Latest Posts

Union obliterates the debate – unwritten requirement used to shut down free speech debate
Campus News
513 views1
Campus News
513 views1

Union obliterates the debate – unwritten requirement used to shut down free speech debate

Jordan Wright - April 27, 2018

Student society Liberate the Debate’s most recent event was cancelled over a lack of compliance with the Students' Union's (USSU) requirement for a neutral chair - a…

Verve Couture – Musicality, kitsch & ignition: the beginning of a series
Arts
58 views
Arts
58 views

Verve Couture – Musicality, kitsch & ignition: the beginning of a series

Ricardo Reverón Blanco - June 17, 2018

Pictured: Zac Black At Proud Cabaret audiences were spellbound as if at night at the circus, yet this was not like Angela Carter’s magical realist novel; Verve…

Fleabag on stage at The Old Market – review
Arts
97 views
Arts
97 views

Fleabag on stage at The Old Market – review

Florence Dutton - June 11, 2018

[caption id="attachment_35513" align="alignnone" width="2400"] Fleabag at Soho Theatre[/caption] Last Monday at 8pm at Brighton’s The Old Market, I sat myself down in my theatre seat eagerly awaiting…

Fleabag preview
Arts
96 views
Arts
96 views

Fleabag preview

Florence Dutton - June 2, 2018

[caption id="attachment_35513" align="alignnone" width="2400"] Fleabag at Soho Theatre[/caption] Following the mass success of the Bafta award-winning BBC Series, DryWrite and Soho Theatre are about to hit the…

Brighton Festival: Ezra Furman at the Dome
Arts
119 views
Arts
119 views

Brighton Festival: Ezra Furman at the Dome

Georgia Grace - June 1, 2018

Having completed my final semester of university with modules on punk history and queer arts, it was fitting that I rounded off my end-of-assessment celebrations by attending…

Arts
141 views

The Tempest review

Georgia Grace - May 30, 2018

As the sun begins to set over Hove Green, tinnies of Red Stripe are cracked open, tartan blankets are strewn, and families tuck into their picnic hampers.…

A Glass Half Empty review
Arts
153 views
Arts
153 views

A Glass Half Empty review

Georgia Grace - May 27, 2018

For those of us coming to the end of another year of university study, the prospect of careers, marriages and babies may seem a long way off.…

DollyWould at The Old Market review
Arts
144 views
Arts
144 views

DollyWould at The Old Market review

Alex Hutson - May 27, 2018

Sh!t Theatre’s DollyWould is a hilarious, thoughtful and experimental performance piece. The award winning show has the Sh!t Theatre duo integrating comedy, storytelling, personal experience and music.…

UCU Launch Petition to End the ‘Hostile Environment’ at Sussex
Campus News
232 views
Campus News
232 views

UCU Launch Petition to End the ‘Hostile Environment’ at Sussex

Billie-Jean Johnson - May 26, 2018

The Sussex branch of the University and College Union (UCU) has launched a petition calling for Vice-Chancellor Adam Tickell to end the 'hostile environment' at Sussex. The…

Arts
109 views

Shakespeare in the sun – The Tempest preview

Georgia Grace - May 24, 2018

In a world of dystopian King Lears and female Hamlets, Shakespeare’s classics are constantly being reimagined for the modern day. There’s something oddly refreshing then about the…

Review: Nick Cave Double Bill at The Old Market (TOM’s Film Club)
Arts
215 views
Arts
215 views

Review: Nick Cave Double Bill at The Old Market (TOM’s Film Club)

Sophie Coppenhall - May 23, 2018

What a phenomenal contrast these two films present when watched side-by-side. In essence, together they are capable of tracing inner and outer metamorphoses of their subjects. The…

Dollywould at The Old Market preview
Arts
143 views
Arts
143 views

Dollywould at The Old Market preview

Alex Hutson - May 22, 2018

From the 22nd May - 25th May 2018 DollyWould will be showing at The Old Market. An exciting new show, presented by Sh!t Theatre, who won the…

Exhibition: Io-sono Fedilouu
Artist Focus
213 views
Artist Focus
213 views

Exhibition: Io-sono Fedilouu

Ricardo Reverón Blanco - May 16, 2018

Last week artist Fedilou made her debut exhibition in the downstairs space of Morelli Zorelli, a quaint vegan Italian restaurant in Hove, featuring a collection of intimate…

Interview with Philosophy faculty and COGS director Ron Chrisley
Interview
149 views
Interview
149 views

Interview with Philosophy faculty and COGS director Ron Chrisley

Nikolaos Manesis - May 15, 2018

Ron Chrisley is a Reader in Philosophy, on the faculty of the Sackler Centre for Consciousness Science, and is the director of COGS (Centre for Cognitive Science).…

Adam review
Arts
217 views
Arts
217 views

Adam review

Ketan Jha - May 13, 2018

If you have been a stranger to the stage this spring and decide to see one contemporary show, let it be Adam. This reviewer went in entirely…

Brighton Fringe Preview: Nick Cave Double Bill at The Old Market (TOM’s Film Club)
Arts
239 views
Arts
239 views

Brighton Fringe Preview: Nick Cave Double Bill at The Old Market (TOM’s Film Club)

Sophie Coppenhall - May 13, 2018

In celebration of iconic Brighton local, legendary alt-rock musician (and episodic actor) Nick Cave, TOM’s Film Club are hosting a double-bill screening of his films at The…

Whimsical fairy-tale meets class war – Standard: Elite review
Arts
277 views
Arts
277 views

Whimsical fairy-tale meets class war – Standard: Elite review

Georgia Grace - May 11, 2018

Meta-theatricality and interactivity are becoming all the more vogue in contemporary theatre, and in a world where the arts are becoming increasingly open and democratised, I find…

A Year of Art Society: The Best Picks
Artist Focus
191 views
Artist Focus
191 views

A Year of Art Society: The Best Picks

Alex Leissle - May 9, 2018

  [gallery type="slideshow" ids="35385,35386,35387,35388,35389,35390,35391,35392,35393,35394,35395,35396,35397,35398,35399,35400,35401,35402,35403,35404,35405,35406,35407,35408,35409,35410,35411"]

More Brit(ish) than ever: A review of Afua Hirsch at Brighton Festival
Books
201 views
Books
201 views

More Brit(ish) than ever: A review of Afua Hirsch at Brighton Festival

William Singh - May 9, 2018

Afua Hirsch’s 2018 book - part memoir, part polemic - provokes mixed feelings. So too did her discussion of the topic at this year’s Brighton Festival. Don’t…

Ethnic-bioweapons: between conspiracy and reality
Science
257 views
Science
257 views

Ethnic-bioweapons: between conspiracy and reality

Luke Richards - May 8, 2018

Bioweapons exist, while ethnic-bioweapons are whispered conspiracies. Pandemics can fairly hazardous to human life, the 1918 Flu Pandemic killed 20-50 million people. A man made pandemic could…

Breaking: Spring referenda results announced
News
267 views
News
267 views

Breaking: Spring referenda results announced

Jessica Hubbard - May 4, 2018

Students have voted to support the BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) movement, reject Prevent and adopt new Gender Equality policies. Results for the Students' Union referenda were…