New College Student Pep Talk From Michelle Obama
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New College Student Pep Talk From Michelle Obama

You don’t go through
this alone. Nobody who is successful
in college gets through it
on their own. So don’t think you’re supposed
to already know the answers. You don’t,
and that’s okay.( music playing )I am living proof that the
investment you’re about to make in your education
is the best thing you can do. So I just want you to know
you can do this. You belong here. This was not a mistake. There’s no such thing
as being an imposter. ‘Cause let me tell you,
these seats are coveted. And they do not give them away
to anybody. Some people start out with a lot
of different advantages. Doesn’t make them smarter,
it just means they had
a head start on you. You are faster, quicker,
smarter, sharper, and yes,
you have to be. They are no smarter
than you. My one big message
is that this is not a mistake. You know, you are here
because you are more than
capable of doing it.( music playing )So, go to class.
Let me just say that. Go to class. Ask for help.
Don’t wait. Get to know the professor.
Get to know the TA. And try to learn
not to procrastinate. Just do the work.
Do the work every day. Do a little bit of it
every day. And that’s how college
is structured. And you do have time.
You have time for all of it. But you can’t procrastinate.( music playing )This is gonna be
the biggest expense you’ve made in your life to date. It is worth it, but it is
a huge responsibility. And that’s one of the things
that I didn’t realize, you know, when I was in school
that how big of a responsibility
this was, and I wish somebody
had told me that. Go to the financial aid office
and they’re the ones that can educate you, right? So, be in their face. When you take out a loan,
have them explain it to you. You know, what does it mean?
What are the interest rates? Do that work.
It’s tempting to think that
that money is yours and that you can use it
to help everybody. Well, first of all,
it’s not used to help everybody, and it’s not used to pay for
a stereo system and those bad shoes
and those nice nails. Your loan money
is for school. If you don’t get your degree, they don’t give you
your money back. You still owe the money,
all right?( music playing )There’s no one way
to do this. There is no one way
to get through it. Everybody does it
a little bit differently. The sooner you embrace that, and the sooner you embrace
what your journey is gonna be, Maybe it’s not getting through
college in four years. Maybe it isn’t getting
straight As. You know, it’s all a part
of the journey. So, don’t measure yourself
against anyone else. Because this is your story
and your journey. And it’s gonna be okay as long as you don’t quit. You know, it’s gonna be okay. But you gotta finish it. ( applause )

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