Newly published Suffolk student finds her happiness

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Courtesy of Deondra Ricketts

Ricketts and her book, “We All Want to be Winners in the Pursuit of Happiness”

Over the last three years, Suffolk University senior Deondra Ricketts has realized how to achieve genuine happiness through lessons she learned on a personal journey to better herself. To help others cultivate their own internal happiness, she published her first book in August titled “We All Want to be Winners in the Pursuit of Happiness.”

The self-help book focuses on mental clarity and self-growth through taking control of your emotions and thoughts in everyday life.

Ricketts was born in Jamaica and grew up in Cape Cod, Mass.. The finance major has had a passion for writing from a young age and has always been encouraged to pursue it as a hobby. She recognized her strength in writing in high school when she received positive feedback from her English teachers, and decided to hold on to this skill through college and publish her first book.

After journaling her thoughts and the life lessons she had collected for three years, she was inspired to turn these notes into a book to share with others. She decided to publish it at the end of this summer in time for readers to be able to digest these lessons and make their goals for the new year.

“My book is basically every single thing I’ve learned over the past three yeas all condensed into something meaningful that a lot of people can relate to,” said Ricketts.

In her writing she covers how happiness is connected to personal accountability, confidence, boundaries and self-love. Ricketts says she was inspired by her own experience and that of everyone else around her.

“I feel like, especially at our age, we tend to place a lot of weight on external things or external factors, especially when it has to do with our happiness,” said Ricketts. “Your happiness is not dependent on anyone else other than yourself… It’s not anybody and it’s not an object– it’s you.”

Ricketts started her book in 2019, but credited the completion to the extra time she was granted during COVID-19 shutdowns. As a finance major, vice president of the National Association of Black Accountants and the secretary of the Fundamental Sisterhood Society at Suffolk, the author struggled to find the time for her writing before due to her busy schedule.

“I think that [COVID-19] has given us a lot of free time and that free time has given us a lot of time to reflect and focus on ourselves,” said Ricketts. “Because we are used to always being on the go and always having everything planned out – the thing about [COVID-19] is that everything cannot be definitive. You have to make space for things that are just going to come up.”

During a time of uncertainty and loss, she has encouraged readers to use her book as a coping mechanism, since it was written for those who feel unhappy and are not content with themselves.

Ricketts is confident that this book will not be her last. She is currently working on two projects that she hopes to publish within the next few years. She is working on a collection of poems about her life and a combination of topics that are meaningful to her. Another book she is writing focuses on Black femininity.

She said her newest book, along with her current projects, have been written to contribute to society and teach others.

“I actually have a career outside of writing that I am working toward – so [my book] is not something that I am just trying to monetize. It is something that I am really passionate about,” said Ricketts. “I am happy that people will be able to find something meaningful through me and that it will live forever.”

Follow Ricketts on Instagram @deons_ricketts and @deondra_bks.

Follow Julia on Twitter @juliaahaesy