Michelle Obama’s College Advice Is A Must-Read For Anyone About To Graduate

And for those who've already passed their final exams as well.

In one of her first public appearances since leaving the White House, Michelle Obama helped host College Signing Day Friday in New York City. The initiative, launched by the former First Lady as part of her "Reach Higher" education program, celebrates high school seniors who have made a commitment to higher education.


Two hundred students from across the city, some of whom will be the first in their family to attend college, were invited to the event organized in collaboration with MTV and held at the Public Theater in Manhattan. Obama was joined by celebrities including Ashley Graham, Bella Hadid and Nick Cannon, each of whom shared advice from their own college experience. 

"Our belief in the power of education to transform your life is real and it's going to be at the core of everything we do going forward," Obama said during her remarks at the event. "So today we are celebrating because each and every one of you is taking the next step in your education."

Education became a particularly passionate issue for Obama while she was First Lady. She has spoken out from personal experience (neither of Obama's parents attended college) about how overwhelming freshman year can be. At the event Friday, Obama offered advice and words of encouragement for those who are about to start their own college experience.

"No one gets through college or life on their own," she said. "So when you hit those walls — and you will — don't be surprised, don't be shocked, don't think it's you, don't think you're not supposed to be there. Go get some help. Don't sit in your room alone. Do not stew or stir. Go out and build your base of support."

Obama also took a moment to emphasize that we are all depending on, but also hopeful for, this year's group of high school graduates. 

"You are going to get this thing and you are going to soar and you are going to continue to make us proud because we need you prepared to be the next generation of leaders," Obama said. "You're going to be the next leaders of tomorrow. So don't ever get discouraged."

However, if discouragement does hit, Obama wanted to make sure the students knew they will always have at least two people cheering them on.

"I might not live in the White House anymore, but Barack and I are going to keep on celebrating you all," she said, "and supporting you and lifting you up no matter what house we live in."


Subscribe to our newsletter and get the latest news and exclusive updates.