Michelle Obama has given us the throwback photo of our dreams: the former first lady as a fresh-faced college student.
“This is me at Princeton in the early 1980s,” she wrote on Instagram Tuesday, alongside a vintage portrait of her with braided hair wearing a denim jacket. “I know that being a first-generation college student can be scary because it was scary for me.” The 54-year-old went on to talk about the challenges she faced and what helped her to get through them.
This is me at Princeton in the early 1980s. I know that being a first-generation college student can be scary, because it was scary for me. I was black and from a working-class neighborhood in Chicago, while Princeton’s student body was generally white and well-to-do. I’d never stood out in a crowd or a classroom because of the color of my skin before. But I found close friends and a mentor who gave me the confidence to be myself. Going to college is hard work, but every day I meet people whose lives have been profoundly changed by education, just as mine was. My advice to students is to be brave and stay with it. Congratulations to the Class of 2018!
A post shared by Michelle Obama (@michelleobama) on May 22, 2018 at 2:09pm PDT
Michelle attended the New Jersey-based Ivy League school in 1981 before attending Harvard Law School. After graduating, she took a job at the Chicago law firm Sidley Austin LLP, where she was assigned to mentor a 28-year-old man named Barack Obama.
“I must say after about a month, Barack, about a month in, asked me out, and I thought ‘No way. This is completely tacky,’” she told ABC News in 2008.
Michelle, who just signed a lucrative Netflix content deal with Barack, has been sharing wisdom from her youth. In May, while attending National College Signing Day in Philadelphia, she not only showed her smooth dance moves but also praised prospective students.
“There are all these people out there telling you what you can’t do,” she told the crowd. “I am so proud of you all. You did just what I did. You ignored the haters.” Michelle also reflected on her own college experience, saying, “I didn’t know if I was smart enough. I thought maybe I’m not good enough. Maybe I can’t keep up.”
And on Mother’s Day, Michelle tweeted a childhood snap of herself, her brother, and her mother, Marian Robinson.
— Michelle Obama (@MichelleObama) May 13, 2018
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