Isaac Roblett aims to conquer Ben Nevis for the Mental Health foundation

Alumnus Isaac Roblett tells us about how he is challenging himself to raise money for a charity that means a great deal to him.

“I studied Business at The University of Brighton from 2013-2016, which I will always hold close to my heart, meeting some extraordinary people on the way.  Like in any walk of life it had its ups and downs, moving into such a drastically new environment, felt like I was thrown in the proverbial lion’s den, and I am sure such a metaphor would resonate with every single new student to a certain extent, but like any challenge in life you must face it head on.

“This brings me to a poignant topic close to my heart ‘Mental Illness’. Mental illness is a growing epidemic, with 1 in 4 adults in England diagnosed with a mental health condition such as depression and anxiety. On top of this, 78% of suicides are males, making it the biggest killer for men under the age of 35. This is a huge problem, yet little is done to combat it.

“I have sadly in the past suffered from depression myself, starting mildly at university and really culminating at an alarming level through most of 2017, this was the case because I allowed myself to be drawn in by the stigma of any mental illness and not addressing it or seeking help. At my lowest points, I felt like a person who had lost his identity, lost any hope, and for what is a life without hope? Day to day tasks became a battle, and I saw myself slowly becoming isolated from the real world, which in turn made things a lot worse. I had this persona of I can’t have a mental illness, and I can’t talk to anybody about it.

“I became somebody I did not want to be, or was not proud to be, and sincerely apologise now if I caused anyone pain. I was lucky enough to have a wonderful support system of charities, professionals, friends and family to help me through these tough times, something not everybody has. This support system was vital in my rehabilitation and is something everyone suffering with mental illness should have. With all this in mind, I was inspired and galvanised to help people who have gone through similar problems as me, to make a positive difference on those less fortunate, I wanted to change a horrible point and situation in my life, into something productive and beautiful, the ultimate redemption.

“Therefore, on the 15th December I plan to climb Ben Nevis (the highest peak in the UK), in a trek which will take 8 hours and is over 16 miles for the Mental Health Foundation. I choose the Ben Nevis challenge, because I see mental health as a metaphorical mountain, both something you must struggle through to conquer.

“The work of the Mental Health Foundation is invaluable. I am proud to raise money for them. They work to raise awareness of Mental Health in the UK and support those who deal with it, but more fundraising needs to be done to ensure they can continue making progress in helping more people effectively combat mental illness, hence why I choose to raise money for them.

“The most important thing that my illness showed me, and the efforts of overcoming it where the toxicity of negative thoughts, and the beauty of positive thinking. When you think negative, you will attract negative situations, and when you think and do positive, the potential optimistic results are endless.

“My advice for any student suffering from a mental illness is to learn from my mistakes, to seek help, (the university has great tools for people who have any mental illness), talk to others about your problems, and most important of all, don’t be hard on yourself.  University can be a lonely place, and I can guarantee you won’t be the only one going through challenges, so don’t isolate yourself.

“We are all human beings, we can all achieve greatness, we all make mistakes and have our own internal problems, so be positive, optimistic, compassionate and open your hearts to others, because you don’t not know what others are going through.

If you wish to support Isaac, you can do so here.

We love to hear your memories and receive pictures from our graduates. If you would like to share your story with us please email alumni@brighton.ac.uk.

 

 

Alumnus Ian Anderson remembers his time at Brighton College of Arts and Crafts

Ian Anderson (right) in Bristol

89 year old Ian Anderson contacted us to share his memories of his time studying at Brighton College of Arts and Crafts when he was a member of the Brighton Student Association (now the SU). He began his studies at Brighton School of Art which became the Brighton College of Arts and Crafts in 1947 and was then was absorbed into Brighton Polytechnic in 1970, which eventually became the University of Brighton in 1992. You can read about the history of the art school here.

Ian recalls…

“Going back over 73 years can be a bit unreliable… I went, at 16, on a scholarship to Brighton School of Art, joining the Preliminary Course of six girls and three boys which, after the boys-only Brighton Grammar School, was something of a shock. In 1946, having passed the course, I was called up into the army, being demobilised in January 1949. After failing to become a stage designer (repertory theatres were closing all over the country) and other efforts at a career, I went back to the Art College in 1950, which had upgraded its name in about 1948, studying fashion for the Intermediate Arts & Crafts 2-year course, that being the nearest to stage design available.

“I was involved with the BSA, organising the Student Rag Day that year. Traditionally, the BSA president was from the Technical College, with about 800 students, while the vice-president was from the Art College, with just over 100. However, in my second year I was elected President of the BSA, due to a few politically-minded Technical College students pulling a fast one. The previous president had generously offered Brighton as the venue for the 1952 NUS Congress, so I had to organise that as well as the Rag Day.

“The Technical College provided an office and part-time secretary to the BSA but in those days presidents were supposed to find spare time to operate. As a result I spent a lot of time in the office and failed my course. Despite my Principal, Mr. Sallis Benney, offering another scholarship year, I left. I did complete an Open University degree in the 60s, when I was a lecturer at Salisbury College of Art.

“Incidentally, I think I have life membership of the Brighton Students’ Association, should it still be in existence.”

We love to hear your memories and receive pictures from our graduates. If you would like to share your story with us please email alumni@brighton.ac.uk.