Michelle Talks to Students: "Men like Me and Barack Are Falling Out of the Race So Now It’s Your Time to Take The Lead"

At the College Signing Day event in UCLA, Obama shared experiences of adversities from her own life and how she was asked to "dream a little smaller"
At the College Signing Day event in UCLA, Obama shared experiences of adversities from her own life and how she was asked to "dream a little smaller"

An icon for many people across the country and the world, the former First Lady, Michelle Obama now wants to inspire people to achieve whatever it is that they dream of. Speaking at the sixth annual College Signing Day that was attended by around 9,000 incoming college students, she urged high-school students to aim high in life and insisted that higher education would pave the way for them to become successful in the future reports Newsweek. She has often talked about the importance of education on a number of occasions. At an event on International Women's Day, she talked about the work done by her foundation to help alleviate the situation of girls' education. She said then, "I plan to continue this work for the rest of my life, and I’m proud that my husband and I are creating a global adolescent girls' education program through the Obama Foundation. I want every girl on the planet to have the same kind of opportunities that I've had, and that my daughters are having, to fulfill their potential and pursue their dreams." Back in 2009 on her first foreign trip as the First Lady, Obama went to the UK where she advised students to never take education for granted and to pursue it in all seriousness.
Michelle Talks to Students: "Men like Me and Barack Are Falling Out of the Race So Now It’s Your Time to Take The Lead"

As per Newsweek, the former First Lady told the audience at the Pauley Pavilion on the UCLA campus in Westwood Village, Los Angeles, that they would represent the future leaders and could inspire younger generations themselves. "You are the future. People like me and [former President] Barack [Obama] are stepping out of the way, to allow you guys to take the lead and in order to be those leaders you’ve got to be ready. You’ve got to have the knowledge and the discipline, you have to have guts."

Looking casual in a Compton College t-shirt, one she probably wore to drive home the importance of community colleges to the fabric of the educational system in the country, Obama congratulated the students for making it this far. She praised them for being accepted into institutions of higher learning while also acknowledging the hard work and sacrifices they may have made along the way. “You overcame so many hurdles, it must have felt special to receive those acceptance letters. You’re about to make the best investment you can possibly make," she said.

While congratulating the students, she also tried to warn them about the road ahead that may be filled with failures and disappointments but asked them to be patient and never give up. "None of us does this alone. If you stumble and stumbling happens to all of us, I want you to get back up. It’s not about not failing, anybody who’s achieved anything has failed and failed again. It’s not the failure, it’s the ability to bounce back from that failure.” To highlight what she meant, she spoke about her own life and shared some of her own experiences.
Michelle Talks to Students: "Men like Me and Barack Are Falling Out of the Race So Now It’s Your Time to Take The Lead"

She revealed she was told to give up on her ambitions when she was at college and was repeated to her husband as well, she revealed. "I had someone tell me that I shouldn’t reach too high. They told me that I wanted too much for myself, I should dream a little smaller. In those times—because they will come up—you have to ask yourselves whether you’re gonna believe the haters or whether you’re gonna believe the own truth of your story,” Obama added.

The sixth edition of the event, which was created by Obama in 2014 and is hosted by her Better Make Room and Reach Higher initiatives, also saw a number of celebrity guests like John Legend, Usher, Conan O’Brien, Lea Michele, Elizabeth Banks, and Don Cheadle.