A Change of Heart

Today I will be honest. This blog is a lie. I’m not premed anymore, and I’m not going back. After doing a lot of soul-searching, I’ve come to the conclusion that I do want to help people, just not in a clinical setting. I could use my talents, my mind, for something far grander: telling stories.

I’ve always been attracted to challenges. I want to fight to be the best because I genuinely believe that I am part of the best. Growing up in an immigrant home, the best took the form of prestigious job titles: lawyer, doctor, businesswoman. I latched onto the title of doctor since I was a child.

Dr. Nicole Ntim-Addae.

I worked very hard towards that goal; I aced my classes in high school, I attend Wellesley College, I’ve taken the necessary classes and labs and volunteer hours. But for me, it is a joyless process that ate away at my social life and mental health. I tried to stick it out; I could do it. I could be the mythical black woman neurobiologist medical doctor from Wellesley and Harvard or something like that, but the harder I ran towards it, the more I felt myself come up to a wall.

Neuroscience was exciting, and although difficult, a joy to learn. Sociology helped me develop a deeper understanding of myself in the context of society. I am an academic at heart.

But the way I want to help people has changed. I do not want to spend my life in sterile labs and attending to patients I can’t help enough. I want to make people smile, and I think that best way to do that with my skillset is to tell stories and become a philanthropist. I want to inspire people the way Oprah and Tyler Perry do: through my work as I share it with the world. I have an idea of how that will take shape over time, but I for now, I am an open book.

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