Chasing Happiness: Putting my Mental Health First

Updated: Apr 6, 2019

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!

Funded by O.C. Tanner and the Tanner Trust for Utah Universities through the generosity of the late Professor Obert C. and Mrs. Grace A. Tanner, the Center provides a focal point and physical setting for the annual Grace Adams Tanner Lecture in Human Values. 

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