Nikki Ngamne’s first book “NOTE2 U” amplifies the importance of mental health, self-love and manifestation

When 20-year-old Nikki Ngamne found herself in a rut she wrote her feelings in the notes section of her phone for solace, and now she’s turned those notes into her first book “NOTE2 U.”

Hamline+University+student+Nikki+Ngamne+poses+for+a+portrait+on+Wednesday%2C+April+14.+Ngamne+recently+released+her+first+book%2C+%22NOTE2+U.%22

Liam Armstrong

Hamline University student Nikki Ngamne poses for a portrait on Wednesday, April 14. Ngamne recently released her first book, “NOTE2 U.”

Grace Davis, Arts and Entertainment Reporter

Taking care of yourself is vitally important at any stage of life, but especially as college students. That can mean a lot of different things, but too often the conversation around mental self-care can be tough to have.

Nikki Ngamne, a 20-year old Hamline University student, is trying to make that conversation a little bit easier with the recent release of her first book “NOTE2 U.” The book, which was released in July 2020, is a collection of notions, candid journal entries and small Rupi Kaur-esque doodles.

Each section represents the moments leading up to experiences that have been impactful to her growth today — balancing the habitual feelings of good and bad. The main themes being love, self-worth, mental health and manifestation.

Before releasing “NOTE2 U,” Ngamne was in a place where she was really struggling with mental health. The journey of “NOTE2 U” started in the summer of 2019 when she found herself in a rut that she couldn’t see the end of. During that time, Ngamne was working two jobs, commuting from Forest Lake to Minneapolis daily. She would wake up at around 4 a.m. to catch the nearest bus 45 minutes away, and then get back home at 10 p.m. — at the earliest.

The workaholic lifestyle and long hours were all in effort for saving enough money to move into a house with friends by the upcoming fall. During this time, Ngamne could feel herself slipping.

“That was the year [2019] that I got diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder and OCD. Coming from a Black family, the discussion of mental health is something that’s very rare. I didn’t really have the space to take care of my mental health, because it was hard for my parents to accept it,” Ngamne said.

The anxious build up and constant on-the-go became too much, and one day during a shift Ngmane found herself crying to her manager. Her manager then recommended that she try the free therapy her company offered. She tried it, but didn’t feel her therapist offered the support she needed.

It was after this that she decided she was just going to write down her thoughts and feelings, knowing it wasn’t necessarily going to solve all her problems, but feeling like it was somewhere to start.

“Randomly, one day I was on the bus on the way to work, and I opened the note section of my phone, and I started typing how I was feeling,” Ngamne said.

Ngamne committed to this journey of self-discovery and wellness in full throttle. For six months she hopped off social media and moved back in with her parents. Ngamne continued to do that for the rest of the summer and found herself writing every day.

She felt inspired after all this time to turn these note entries into a book, hoping her experiences and feelings would resonate with others feeling the way she was.

Max Ntege, a friend of Ngamne, said that, “Nikki was able to express the emotions and mental states that we all go through and offered a guide on how to grow from them.”

When asked to describe the book, Ngamne said, “I would say it’s authentic. I would also say it’s really about disconnecting and then reconnecting with yourself, with relationships, and just with life in general.”

The positive feedback has continued to be well received by reader Avery Hansen who said, “I find comfort from reading ‘NOTE2 U.’”

“NOTE2 U” can be purchased on Ngamne’s website. She plans to release a sequel within the next year.