Experiences over time
In this section you will be asked to draw a timeline to plot your life experience. The actual time frame will be up to you – it can include your whole life since childhood, or you might want to focus on recent study or work experience, or on specific roles you might have (such as carer, volunteer or student, for example).
The timeline creates a graphic picture of your life (or a period in your life) that will help you to identify the ups and downs, and also any patterns or recurring themes that you may not have been aware of.
It can be very difficult to look back over our life or our experiences; for some people, this may bring to mind some issues or memories that they would rather not confront. If you find this activity distressing, you may want to omit it or to discuss it with someone you trust. Remember, you can also select which areas of your life you want to focus on. This might be very recent work experience (either paid or unpaid) or you might want to focus more on individual roles you have in life.
Before you try creating a timeline of your own life, we’d like you to look at a couple of examples and think about how they might relate to your own life and experiences.
Activity 2.1 Taking stock of my experiences over time
Look at the example timelines and listen to the audio clips. Then try to answer the questions that follow.
Example 1: Mo’s timeline
Have a look at what Mo’s timeline might look like.
Now listen to Mo talking about his adult life and the process of his coming to the UK and settling into life in Scotland.
Example 2: Ying’s timeline
Have a look at Ying’s timeline.
Now listen to Ying talking about her adult life and the process of change from growing up and working in China to moving to the UK for work and study.
Reflection and discussion
Consider the following questions:
- Have you had any experiences similar to Mo’s or Ying’s?
- Do you have anything in common?
- What is different about your life experience?
Make some notes in the activity sheet provided or in your notebook.
Go to Activity 2.1 of your Reflection Log. Once you have completed the activity, make sure you save the document again.
If you are working in a group, you might want to share your answers and discuss your notes with each other, or with your mentor if you have one.