We know that learning has the power to change lives.
Our learning stories feature Bristol citizens who share how learning has made a difference to their lives and the many ways and places that they have learnt – through friends, activities, formal education and work.
We want to gather as many learning stories as possible from across the city and we would like to hear from you! Click here to submit your learning story.
Featured Learning Stories
Ella’s Learning Story
I’ve always viewed myself as someone who was incapable of reaching a high level of achievement. I was never naturally top of the class and often wondered how others found it so easy.
I assumed that you were either good or bad at something and I would just have to accept my grades would never be the same as some of my peers. As a shy and introverted person, this mindset often caused me to hold myself back, avoiding anything out of my comfort zone.
Lucy’s Learning Story
Hi, I’m Lucy. I work in the Employment Support team at Bristol City Council. My job is to maintain a network of contacts across Bristol and the West of England who can help residents improve their skills and get jobs.
I’ve always enjoyed learning and have completed various courses online, at the Folk House and City of Bristol College – ranging from cyber security, marketing and even silversmithing! I think it’s important to pursue courses in and outside of work, as sometimes I just want to learn something new for myself.
Jack’s Learning Story
I have been fortunate enough to have had a largely positive experience of formal education. I completed my GCSEs in 2016 and I am currently studying for my A-levels, hoping to go onto university.
In the February of my final year of GCSEs, I decided to apply for the Bristol City Youth Council. I was elected by my peers to represent North Bristol and in 2018 I was elected by my fellow Youth Councillors to become a Youth Mayor.
Jaya’s Learning Story
My story begins in the middle of my third year at college. I decided it was time to leave my family, as we were going through some issues, and move in with my boyfriend. I had a lot of stress on my shoulders, but I did my best dealing with it and continuing to attend college. I also juggled a part time job to pay for things like my bus pass, clothes and food.
A few months on and I had successfully finished college. I was starting to find my way through life, but I was still struggling. I felt like a stranger in my boyfriend’s home, with no support from my family, and was slowly losing so-called friends. I was struggling with money, as I was only working part time, and I then found out that the sports store I was working at was closing down. I just felt like everything was going wrong. I was at a crossroads and I didn’t know what to do.
Inês’s Learning Story
For a very long time I used to trust the wrong people. I didn’t know why I did it, or why I repeatedly kept doing it, but my suspicion lays in the fact that I had no real self-esteem and any bit of attention given to me was enough for me to call people friends. Second chances would become tenth chances, the lies would become truths and the excuses would become explanations. It wasn’t a pretty situation, but I was shy and lonely.
I wanted to have friends. Everybody at the age of 10 wanted to have friends. Everybody wanted to be the popular kid, wanted to be the best, wanted to be loved by everybody – and I wasn’t an exception, but I also wasn’t the norm. My “friend” was the norm. She was gorgeous, smart and very popular. Guys wanted her and girls wanted to be her and, if they couldn’t be her, they would try to be her friend. Yet, out of all the other prettier, skinnier girls she chose me to be her friend.
How will sharing stories encourage people to learn in Bristol?
Sharing stories promotes understanding and brings people together.
In a neuroscience study, led by Uri Hasson in Princeton, a woman told a story to a group of listeners while their brains were monitored by MRI scans. The results showed that the listeners experienced the exact same brain patterns as the storyteller. The listeners developed empathy for the storyteller, because they were experiencing the story in the same way as the teller.
This means that when you tell a story to a friend, you can transfer your experiences, ideas, thoughts and emotions to them. They feel what you feel. What’s more, as you relate to someone’s desires through a story, they become your desires.
Sharing a learning story can bring a powerful force of change to those listening, encouraging them to go onto learn something new for themselves.
Share Your Learning Story!
We want to gather as many learning stories as possible from across the city and we would like to hear from you.
Your story might be based on an experience that made a difference to your life, it might be about one thing you learnt that set you on a specific course, or it might tell the story of your learning journey and demonstrate how what you learnt has impacted on your life.
Everyone’s learning story is important to us, so please help us by sending in your learning story below.
For ideas of how to create your learning story please download our top tips: