Category Archives: Student Voice

Student Voice: Living Faith by Alicia Cheshire

What is FAITH without awareness, confidence, trust, certainty and belief – a sense of knowingness, surety and peace?

It’s an empty shell yearning to be filled, a vessel waiting to carry you to the other side, to a brighter world where dreams are realised.

Faith is not denying reality  but facing it with certainty. Knowing that what ever you’re going through is just temporary.

Regardless of how things may appear, there’s nothing to fear.
YOU are in the drivers seat, just focus and steer.

Shift your attention from where you are to where you want to be. Feel it and see it internally.

And as you journey in that direction,  following the signs that have been purposely designed to guide you towards your destination.

There’s NO DOUBT in your mind that you’re getting closer, the road becomes clearer, the environment in line with your imagination.

You feel yourself relax as you allow things to unfold in a wonderful way.
Come what may, when you have faith, peace is here to stay.

There’s no panic or urgency, you’re enjoying the ride, taking things in your stride.

Excited by what’s to come,
Doubt and fear have been replaced by a sense of joy and fun.

So ultimately faith is about believing in YOU!

Leaving behind anything of hinderance in your rear view,
Trusting that what you focus on will eventually come true.

The timing depends on how quick you let go and let the universe carry you through!


Student Voice: Choice – By Michelle Quigley

So, you really believe I got up one morning and said “You know what? Today, I think I’m going to become addicted to something. Something destructive, something damaging!”

That’s my goal in life, to be the worst person I can possibly be.

My addiction was to alcohol.  To me it was a slow form of suicide, I drank to the point of oblivion; black-out!  Does that sound like the choice of a rational mind to you?

You see, there is a very fine line in social acceptance, where alcohol is concerned and that’s where recovery can be hard.

Alcohol is legal, it’s cheap; it’s socially acceptable. If you tell someone you have quit smoking, you may get a pat on the back, a “well done”!  Tell someone you’ve quit drinking and you have to explain yourself; you’re looked at like you’ve grown a second head! You’re seen as unsociable. “Well, one won’t hurt you!”, “Why don’t you drink?”. Yet you wouldn’t necessarily ask the same question to an ex-smoker!  It’s now socially acceptable to be an ex-smoker, but not an ex-drinker, that is seen as shameful – “Oh, so you have a problem?”

One of your gang is seen as someone who can hold their drink – they are idolised, the cool one; the good laugh; the life and soul of the party.  The one in your gang, who can’t hold their drink, is seen as weak, a wimp, totally uncool, taken the mick out of.

Then you take it a step further – to an addiction.  In comes the judgement, the stigma.  Let’s isolate them from society.  The very society that led me to believe it’s socially acceptable to drink.

Kind of a contradiction, don’t you think? That this same society then tells me it’s a lifestyle choice of only my doing.  The only lifestyle choice I see, is when you realise that you have a problem and you then choose to do nothing about it, to stay down, to not choose recovery and life over continuing and dying.

My choice was to stop drinking. To stand up to social acceptance and its fine lines; its stigmas and its judgements. Because my choice is to be me! Not what society chooses me to be!

I choose a life of substance, not substance misuse.


By Michelle Quigley


If you or someone you know has been affected by addiction or substance misuse, there are a number of ways in which you can find help. Try visiting your GP or taking a look at the NHS Website.

There are also many charities which offer a variety of different services; visit  Mind, Addaction or Aquarius for more information.