Recounting her own experience at Princeton University, the former first lady, Michelle Obama, called it an ‘out of body’ experience. At the fifth annual “Beating the Odds” summit of Reach Higher, Obama encouraged students to pursue higher education.
The first lady told students from her own experience that they were ‘going to be fine’. She shared the ‘cultural-shock’ she experienced in her time and said, “It took a second to kind of adapt to just the culture of the place, and my assumption is that a lot of you are going to experience that.”
She also advised the students to make a network of friendships that would help them adjust to the new environment and avoid feelings of isolation.
Obama also discussed her experience of how she was labelled as a minority that did not ‘belong’ at Princeton. She said, “They were wrong, they didn't know me. They didn't really know what they were talking about...and you can do that too. You will do that too. But don't do it alone."
She also urged students to attend lectures on campus, meet with the faculty and take care of their mental well-being.