F U T U R E (Scary 6 letters)

F U T U R E predicting one day to the next, which may or may not happen.


Where did you see yourself 10 years ago? Where do you see yourself in the next 10 years? Something we don’t often stop and ask ourselves.

 ‘Dream big’ a phrase we are often told when we are young, inspiring to be a singer, air hostess, celebrity the list goes on. Looking back now, surely, I couldn’t be the only one that laughs so much?? An air hostess??? Me who only recently has half got the hang of flying.

Young, full of energy and not a single care in the world at a young age wondering where do we see ourselves in 10-15 years.

Choosing a career path?

Primary school (best years of your life, well best years of my life for sure). I think I potentially changed my mind on what my future career was going to be on a monthly if not daily basis???

I grew up as a pure tomboy in primary school, only for the fact I had long hair looking back at photos it’s the only thing that gave me that feminine side! Everybody has them cute as a button little primary school photos around their houses in frames full of pride and joy! Not me, definitely not. I think I have hidden the majority of my primary school pictures that well I couldn’t find them if I tried.

Never the less, my point is, going into secondary school and beginning first year was an amazing experience. At such a young age, everyone is thinking of their future. Going to careers classes, hearing that the people in your class want to be vets, doctors, nurses, accountants, mechanics, hairdressers, beauticians, zoologists (which I hadn’t even heard of) the endless list of potential jobs was amazing.  It is when I eventually began to realise, I have absolutely no idea what I want to be.


I loved animals and loved people (I still do!). I always thought of myself as a vet from a young age, (after my air hostess fascination), probably due to the fact of living on a farm, having a dog and pretty much being a cat lady minus the old age!

But the thought of 7 years at university was scary plus the fact my weakest subject in the world was Science plus the fact the closest university to study veterinary was Dublin and I was the world’s worst person with euros (still no better). The thought of an animal dying was emotional never mind witnessing it. That went out the window slowly but surely. (So much respect for vets, they really are stars).

Then come along 3rd and 4th year, I had my life planned out, nursing was the way to go. I was going to be a great little nurse and care for the elderly. Little did I know shortly down the line, I really do hate the sight of blood, and especially needles, they both make me uneasy. Around came work experience, inspiring to be a nurse, I went to an elderly care home to see if I liked the thought of nursing as my future career. An eye opener to say the least, nursing wasn’t for me. I have so much respect for nurses, the long hours, the long days, on your feet 24-7 caring for patients, they are an absolute inspiration.

Never the less, nursing wasn’t for me, I concluded that on day 2 of placement and didn’t return.

Really in a tizzy, what career path was I going to follow and actually like??


The light-bulb switched in my head one night, after researching many courses which I found interesting, I thought, would I like the PR industry? I decided to go on work experience alongside already having completed a work experience, I went to the Ulster Herald in Omagh which is my local weekly newspaper. That’s when it clicked, bingo, I really could see myself in this industry.

To cut a long story short for I really could talk for days, my future goals and inspirations had changed dramatically over many years. I felt I had found the path I wanted to go down. After researching many courses at universities, I loved the idea of studying Communication, Advertising and Marketing BSc (Hons) at Jordanstown. The industry is massive and being able to go into either of these sectors would be amazing. With high grade boundaries to this course, it seemed so unrealistic to get into, therefore I had many many backups, which are basically the same course as both courses share many modules.

Meetings with teachers began at secondary school which consisted of advice and guidance on courses etc. I was told that my course was ‘unrealistic’ for me to achieve the grade boundaries, not to get my hopes up and look at alternatives or something similar. Any human who hears them words are cross, your heart drops. But, instead I took a completely different approach. From that meeting, I began to keep my head in the books and work hard on my coursework to ensure that I would get the grades to prove them wrong. I was determined.

  • UCAS BH42  for pending offer
  • Grades BH42

I received confirmation, I had successfully got into my first choice. I was stunned! Plus the face on your principle when he hands your results with a cheesy grin really is amazing and unforgettable! Realising how much they have did for us in 7 years, all in the space of seconds.

Next steps;

  • Begin the life of a student studying CAM BH42
  • Live the life of a lord in first year BH42
  • Shop to you drop and moan about not having a loan left BH42

Final steps;

  • Crap myself when I hear the word dissertation BH42

Four years down the line from applying to UCAS (feels like 10 years ago, ageing by the day, over dramatic as always) I am over the moon to say I am now nearing the end of my final year studying Communication, Advertising and Marketing. I really, without a doubt recommend my course.

Not in a million years did I picture myself where I am today. I’m speechless and so happy, so much changes in 4 years and I really and truly am blessed to gain so many great friends for life!

I was never an intelligent person at school, nor am I today! Something that seemed so distant at the beginning, I now have at arm’s reach.

So, my advice is dream big for the future, and if you think you’re dreaming big, dream bigger!!!!


Let your dreams stay big and your worries stay small


(I say this so much, I probably say it in my sleep)

Exams approaching, dissertation nearing its due date, graduation creeping around the corner, all so exciting and nerve wrecking. But where does the f u t u r e hold for little old me now? Stay tuned!!

Create your future YOU want, not anybody else’s and let the past fizzle away.

Breige Hollywood is a final year CAM student at Ulster University. She can be contacted on LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/in/breige-hollywood-a7b035116/and Twitter @ HollywoodBreige

Mental Health Awareness

What is mental health illness to you?

A question I have asked myself many times before… until I began to have an in-depth understanding last year when I undertook a placement year in a chemist.

There are many different types of mental health illnesses a few to state of the top of my mind;

*Anxiety *Depression *Post-traumatic stress *Eating disorders

The list could go on and on….

I googled ‘what is mental health illnesses’ and the response I received was, ‘Mental illnesses are health conditions involving changes in thinking, emotion or behaviour (or a combination of these). Mental illnesses are associated with distress and/or problems functioning in social, work or family activities’.

A lot of people don’t understand what mental health illnesses are, and this is why I think mental health awareness needs to be promoted a lot more especially to the younger generation like myself. Social media is massive as we all know, and is an incredible communication source to get a message across.

This year on social media especially Facebook and Instagram, individuals promoted, ‘World Mental Health Day’ on the 10th October.


I myself posted an image to my Facebook profile, and my Instagram account as recently mental health illnesses have touched me very close to home this year. (I am never one to post much)

I used the hashtags #FightTheStigma #BeKindAlways which were trending for Mental Health Awareness Day


I got a great response from younger people. One simple post could save someone, explaining to them that they are not alone or discovering helpline numbers they can call which they may not have known about before.

It really is the simple things in life that can help someone.

World Mental Health Day provides an opportunity ‘for all stakeholders working on mental health issues to talk about their work, and what more needs to be done to make mental health care a reality for people worldwide’.

Mental health illnesses are real conditions. People need to stop and think before they speak, get to know someone before they begin to prejudge them. You don’t know what he or she has been through until you walk in their shoes.

We need to break the stigma and speak out, nobody is alone.

Many celebrities, bloggers and many more posted on social media about mental health illnesses, and this is where the young generation will learn about these conditions.

‘Little Penny’s book of Thoughts’ is an inspirational book full of powerful and touching quotes, which many of us know. This is a woman called Annette who posts every day little inspiring quotes, that people know as a ‘pick me up’. She is an amazing woman as mental health campaigner, with 264k plus page likes and 265,000 plus followers on Facebook alone. She posts ‘daily pockets of positivity’.


On World Mental health Day she posted the below post which got 1.6k likes and 1k shares. This post was truly amazing. Annette is a Compiler of Little Penny’s Book of Thoughts. ‘Mind-set mentor/speaker and workshop facilitator and a Mental Health Advocate’.



People who say that one harsh comment in passing could completely ruin someone’s self-esteem whereas that simple compliment, ‘your outfit is gorgeous’ could literally make someone’s smile light up a corridor.

As a 22 year old girl, I have had an absolute roller coaster of a year BUT that’s a story for another day. From one extreme to the next, I eventually seen the, ‘light at the end of the tunnel’. Which has been an eye-opener to say the least, from claiming what was the ‘worst year of my life’ to the biggest learning curve I could never have imagined, I can eventually stand strong and believe it eventually does get better.

‘Hard times will always reveal true friends’


Time is a healer

Saying goodbye to the negativity in your life is the first and hardest step of your journey, speaking from experience, you can do it!

Progress takes time and time takes patience (I was never a patient woman). Every day is a new beginning and the light will always shine bright even if you can’t see it.

It’s okay not to be okay. Nobody is alone #FightTheStigma #BeKindAlways

As part of our PR module this year we are making a campaign for ‘AWARE NI’ to bring awareness to the public of who AWARE NI are and what they do.

AWARE NI are the national depression charity for Northern Ireland – and the only charity working exclusively for people with depression and bipolar disorder.

If you are in need of help with mental health illnesses please look into this amazing charity, whether it be to donate, attend a support group, fund-raise, or simply needing someone to contact when you are in need they are outstanding.

Check the charity out on; http://www.aware-ni.org,

Email; info@aware-ni.org 

Call; 028 7126 0602

Possibly attend a support group within your area, avail of their online support groups or whatever it may be, AWARE NI are more than happy to help!!

If you take anything from this student blog please know that no matter how bad things get you will survive to tell the tail and things can only get better… TRUST ME 🙂

Breige Hollywood is a final year CAM student at Ulster University. She can be contacted on LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/in/breige-hollywood-a7b035116/ and Twitter @ HollywoodBreige


An eye opener to the ‘REAL WORLD’ of work

Applying for a placement year next year? One thought on your mind, scared??

Hearing people in class going to America, London, Spain, Dublin you name it… Little old me sitting there thinking is Armagh too far away for me to travel??? (Thinking about this now, I laugh a LOT)

Having so much at home, family, friends etc I lived in a little bubble of my own, I couldn’t bare thinking about down south at the time never mind overseas! (Serious regret…. I advise to go as FAR away as you can!!)


I was lucky to apply to my first placement, receive an interview and successfully get it, which isn’t always the case. If you don’t get accepted to your first placement don’t worry for ‘everything happens for a reason’. I learned this the hard way recently and I am still trying to discover the reason!

Whether it be deciding to go into final year without a placement year, a gap year to find yourself, a placement year you despise or a placement year you enjoy and potentially secure a future job with, ‘what is for you won’t go passed you’.

I spent my placement year in McKeevers Chemists, with the most amazing, inspirational woman. At the start the only thing the pair of us had in common was getting dressed up! (Ironic as I am a shopaholic)

Off I went in July, day one, this quiet little girl who sat by the window in the office (I usually can’t sit still or quiet unless there is circumstances). The office was that quiet you could literally hear a pin drop… I lasted about a month.

Monthly meetings began with my manager, I spilled the beans on the first meeting, why does nobody talk?? I explained how I wanted to be more involved, I wanted to get to know this quiet and intelligent woman who sat beside me (my manager), I wanted to get out and about to the different stores, organise events etc after all this is why we choose a sandwich course to get the placement experience!

Safe to say the manager was delighted to hear my response! My main concern was bringing Christmas cheer as you can see below, I had to get Santa to appear!!


To think now within a year, I learned SO much about myself as an individual as well as learning so much about the marketing sector as a marketing assistant.

To top it off I have without a shadow of a doubt made a friend for life, and I truly mean this, I would call this woman my angel in disguise!!


To all the second years considering a placement year next year, my advice to you would be look further than your front door, for that is my only regret of my third year choices! Yes, I absolutely loved my placement hands down, and I have learned SO much which I will benefit in the future. Looking back now, I had so many possible opportunities to experience, to name a few, different countries, cultures, languages etc you name it! AND I chose to stay at home!

I advise as a final year student now to;

***Be yourself***

There is only one you, and no other person is like you, and I am sure you are an amazing Individual!

My daddy always says, ‘if there was another Breige, there would be a hell lot of trouble’


‘you don’t have to do anything but die’.

These two quotes really make me realise, if you are not happy in one place, there is another place full of people waiting to meet you!

Wherever next year may take you, I hope you smash it!

Breige Hollywood is a final year CAM student at Ulster University. She can be contacted on LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/in/breige-hollywood-a7b035116/and Twitter @ HollywoodBreige



A young bunch of girls gong to Santa Ponsa as our FIRST girl holiday, you can imagine the excitement!!

Checking in at the airport, the Facebook and Instagram pic, Snapchat polluted, what else do you expect from 18 and 19 year olds??


Few years later, now ‘mature’ 22 year olds, off we went again holiday planning.

The same group of girls, minus a few… deciding in a group chat where shall we go on holidays? Exciting of course, but not your ‘ordinary’ sunny two week holiday to France, Spain etc (as much as I did try to persuade this)

Reality hit, it was May, there we were sharing ideas in the no other place than the local pub!

As I said before, not once could I persuade a two week holiday to France or Spain etc, I may as well of been talking to the wall!!

One extreme to the next and later that night, flights were booked to Thailand 🙂

Not knowing one thing about this country other than it would be a long flight, it has many different bugs and people recommend to stay in hostels as they are ‘cheap and cheerful’.

Listening to many people about how cheap Thailand is (note to self, it is not cheap if you travel like us girls) we thought, why not? We are only young the once!

In all the excitement of course we didn’t research into much detail and booked it for ‘rainy season’


Future advice, check the seasonal weather changes!

Off we went 4 best friends to the land of Thailand, no clue where to go, what to do, what to expect, or what to eat (nothing but pizza, chips, pasta and garlic bread). To say the least we ‘took the bull by the horns’ and what an experience we had!!! Arriving at numerous airports etc with my surname on a board with a slightly different spelling which was ‘holywood’ for our airport collection


 We lived the dream for 2 weeks!!!

You could say it was like a girl version of the film ‘hangover’… I suppose a little less extreme, a group of girls like the film ‘Bridesmaids’ you could say. The least to say one girl got ate alive by god knows what kind of bugs and swoll like a balloon (literally). It was like team bonding busting blisters with needles you could say!! Drinking ourselves out of a hangover… I am sure you get where this is going!

It was an amazing experience, every girl trip has a few hiccups of course, would we really be friends if we didn’t?? Travelling from Bangkok (HUGE eye opener!!) vomiting at the smell of the streets as soon as we touched down. The ‘famous’ city smell of Bangkok consisted of on the street cooking of fish which looked highly contaminated (I promise, this is not a joke), the dead fish crying for help!

Then travelling to Phuket, Phi Phi then arriving in the most amazing, scenic place I could imagine Maya Bay


This island is worth travelling to Thailand simply for the most exotic, peaceful views, no words can describe! Another boat and a long ass journey to Ko Samui then Ko Tao and back to the beautiful Ko Samui followed by a plane journey to the busy city of Chang Mai! Two weeks of travelling and we finally jumped on a plane to Bangkok to head back to the sunny Ireland (joke of the year)

4 girls who didn’t save 2p to go on holidays but managed between our savings and budgeting, we ended up having an absolute blast! If you take anything from this blog post, my advice is to put Thailand on your bucket list when your young folks!


You NEED to go to the elephant sanctuary in Chang Mai



I advise not to take a back pack if you do NOT travel light (girl problems)


Go for at least 3 weeks… 2 is not enough to enjoy each destination!

BUT everything is a learning curve, Thailand is a must see 🙂

Breige Hollywood is a final year BSc in Communication, Advertising & Marketing student at Ulster University. She can be contacted on LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/in/breige-hollywood-a7b035116/ and Twitter @HollywoodBreige