Georgie McIntosh
Nursing at Kilmarnock College (2008-9). * Graduated from UWS (2012) with a degree in Adult Nursing
Georgie is one of four daughters born to a working-class family from the West of Scotland. Class considerations were at play, she believes, in her family’s attitude towards education. “I left school 25 years ago and it was a class issue then. If you were ‘working class’ you were supposed to get a job and work -- and that was it.”

She also believes that there has been a significant change in attitudes since her parents’ generation.  When a school teacher wrote disparaging remarks on her report card, she recalls that her parents simply accepted that she wasn’t one of the “bright sparks” who would do well in school. Georgie says, “If that happened to my daughter now, I would challenge it. I would want to know the reasons for it and would try to find out if the situation could be improved at all. But my parents just accepted it, because in those days a teacher’s word was law.” 

In any case, Georgie was keen to leave school behind and enter the world of work, to start earning money.  She started working right away and later got married and had a family.  However, after working for the same company for 25 years, she was made redundant, which prompted a serious review of her life and future prospects.  “I was turning 40 and I didn’t want to spend the next 25 years doing the same thing. I wanted to try something else and see what I was capable of, but I knew that I couldn’t go straight in to university, having been 25 years out of school, so I’d have to do something else.” That “something else” turned out to be the SWAP Access to Nursing programme at Kilmarnock College

Her experience at college was a very positive one, although not without its challenges. She suffered from a lack of self-confidence and often felt guilty about the sacrifices that her family had to make to accommodate her new life as a student. However, with support and encouragement from family and friends, she persevered and progressed to university to pursue her goal of becoming a nurse.  She’s very happy that she has now earned her degree,  but she’s also aware of some of the side-benefits of her return to study. “
When my 15-year-old daughter was doing her GCSEs, she could see me studying, too, and I think it encouraged her to take her education more seriously.”  

UWS Study Skills 2013 

Georgina (below) answering questions from current SWAP students at the UWS SWAP Study Skills Day: 
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