On Thursday, Sept. 1, Michelle Obama and Seth Meyers joined Nick Cannon during a back-to-school event at Howard University in Washington, D.C., where the trio dished out some sage advice for incoming freshmen. Taking questions from nearly 250 students, Obama and Meyers’ advice to students covered everything from internships to selecting a degree and failure.
Although the taped session isn’t expected to air until next week on NBC’s “Late Night,” we’ve compiled a list of epic tips for college success that Obama has shared over the last several years.
On choosing an institution: “The one thing I’ve been telling my daughters is that I don’t want them to choose a name,” she said. “I don’t want them to think, ‘Oh I should go to these top schools.’ We live in a country where there are thousands of amazing universities. So, the question is: What’s going to work for you?” (Seventeen Magazine, April 2016)
On haters: “Just brush it off and just do the work,” she said, recalling a time at Princeton, when people told her she was too ambitious. “It’s the doing of the work that just gets you through. It’s not what other people think of you. I still carry that with me today as first lady of the United States, because there are people who don’t think I should be doing that either. And it’s been eight years.” (Howard University, Sept. 2016)
On participation: “Do not miss class. Pay attention. Take careful notes. Raise your hand. Ask questions when you’re confused. Don’t be afraid to be wrong, because that was me — I didn’t even want to hear my voice in class. I don’t want that for you. Don’t be afraid. In college, you can’t just sit back and space out. You have to be an active participant.” (Goddard Riverside Community Center, May 2016)
On falling short: “Failure is a part of success. No one got here in a straight line without failure. Everyone has had it, including the president, up and down. The thing you can’t do is hide from your failures. Seek help when you’re struggling.” (Howard University, Sept. 2016)
On patience: “Don’t rush to be ballin’. Grow into your lifestyle.” (Howard University, Sept. 2016)