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Sociology as an academic discipline has been a key part of my life within the past few years, which wouldn’t have been possible if it were not offered as a subject at my college. Like many others entering their final year of college, the pressure was beginning to build in regards to plans for the future, with an integral part of this being the subject choices one makes as potential requirements for further education. For me personally I was never really sure which path I would take, or even want to take.When it came time to choose an extra course, sociology stood out as something that could be interesting, but wouldn’t be something I would necessarily pursue. This all changed once I had begun to consciously involve myself in the subject, kindling an interest I didn’t even know I had. The content of the course provided a good overview of what studying sociology had to offer, the part that stood out the most was its relevance to the real world through both history and contemporary times, this, coupled with having a competent and passionate teacher, was what led me to treat sociology more seriously. Once I had realised the potential sociology had, and once I realised I had grown quite fond of it, I made the decision to study sociology as a second major for my degree at university.
That choice has so far been one I do not regret, as once at university level, the choices for studying sociology have been colourfully varied and intricate, choosing to take sociology as a second major has had a great impact on my degree as a whole, since the original major was in public policy, and the two synergise surprisingly well, a dynamic duo. However, none of this would have been possible had I not been introduced to sociology in college, nor would I have been inspired to push myself to really get involved with it, earning myself recognition for my efforts at the end of year prize-giving, a much needed confidence boost to my decision to study it at the tertiary level. Aside from being an inherently interesting subject, sociology offers more than just recreational value. Sociology offers insight into that which most of us take for granted, the rhythms and rules of everyday social interaction, by making ourselves aware of these aspects of our lives, we can learn to embrace dissociated understanding of what makes us human. Sociology does not shy away from the more empirical aspects of human societies either, allowing us to analyse and interpret social structures and wider aspects of how human societies operate and are maintained. Sociology as a whole is not only an addition to other social sciences, but one in itself, deserving to be treated as such, and I think the best place to start is to give it more emphasis in the schooling system.
Henry Watson studied Level 3 Sociology in Year 13 at Otumoetai College in Tauranga. Henry is now at Victoria University in his second year of a Bachelor of Arts Majoring in Public Policy and Sociology, with a minor in Social Policy.