Chasing Happiness: Putting my Mental Health First

Updated: May 27, 2020

By Rachel -

In 2015, I graduated from SUU as a bright-eyed and bushy-tailed communication student with my whole life ahead of me, absolutely driven to be as successful as possible. I had not a single idea what I wanted to do with my life, but I knew for sure I was going to make something of myself. Within a year, I found myself in a high-end corporate job in Las Vegas, working for a multi-million dollar company, making ends meet, and supporting my husband and child along the way.


And never in my life had I ever been so miserable.


I was going through severe post-partum depression, and the stress of a high-pressure job made it ten times worse. I found myself daydreaming as I drove my hour-long commute each way, wondering when I had lost any sense of purpose in my life. What was I doing? Why wasn't I happy? Why couldn't I wake up and shake off the fog and just feel normal again?

It took well over a year of soul-searching for me to realize that the corporate world and my mental health couldn't live in the same space. I figured out that my version of success was vastly different from my colleagues', and in that realization, I knew I needed to make a change, to chase my own happiness and put my mental health over someone else's view of success.

Now, less than a year after committing to chase my happiness, I've found my way back to where I started - SUU, working in my dream job and seeking a Master's Degree. My success no longer has to be measured in dollar signs or views-per-page. My success can be measured by how in line I am with my real purpose - and how consistently I choose to put my mental health first.


My name is Rachel Fergason - and this is the story of how I came home to SUU!