Kilmarnock Graduation 2019: Student of the Year for Social Sciences

October 17, 2019 - Martin Currie

My lecturers' support and kindness made me feel secure in the college environment and I never felt huge pressure on myself 

Sally McKie, HND Social Sciences


I’d always had a love for history and my mum decided to take me to an open day at college where various university representatives were promoting their campuses and courses. I was too late to go to university that year – and although I had every intention of looking at university courses for next year, after chatting with lecturer Gerry D’Agostino, he recommended HNC Social Sciences at Ayrshire College.

I started at the college two weeks later than everyone else, so my first concern was if I’d make friends or not. I was worried everyone would already have made bonds and I would stick out. However, as soon as I started, I made friends. I found that I had similar opinions and interests with others in the course.

I was also worried about lecturers and if their approach would be completely different to what I had been used to. However, I feel lucky to have been taught by passionate and respectful people, who really did make a difference to my learning and college experience.

I feel chuffed to have won this award and humbled to have been chosen. However, if I didn’t have the lecturers I had, who encouraged and helped me, I wouldn’t have won this. Their support and kindness made me feel secure in the college environment and I never felt huge pressure on myself, which tends to make me crumble.

I really enjoyed sociology and learning about various theorists and theories. I found it interesting as there was a variety of subject matters that could be described and evaluated by different sociological perspectives. I think I found it so enjoyable as many theorists and ideas were in line with my own opinions and even those who I differed with; it was still interesting to read what others thought.

I feel that I have gained a lot more skills, including how to structure essays in a way that flows well and includes knowledge, evaluation, analysis and answers the essay question. Another skill, which I previously had no experience of was both skim reading and use of index’s and references. Now I can highlight important information in books on the area I’m studying and find the subject matter and those relevant to it within the book.

Within myself I have also developed. At the start of my college experience I struggled to be motivated or believe in myself. Now I have a much more positive attitude and even when I was faced with an exam or difficult essay to write, I tried to maintain a better outlook and I found tackling essays in stages, made them much more achievable and less stressful to complete, by taking it step by step. I am also more confident in presenting in class.


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