Addressing thousands of high school students at the 2018 College Signing Day in Philadelphia, former First Lady of the United States Michelle Obama urged her audience to pursue education. “There is nothing more important than your education. This is the investment that no one can take away from you. And the only reason I am standing here today is because I was where you were, way back when. I went to public schools my entire life”, she said. “I went from the South Side of Chicago to Princeton University.”
The former leader recommended the crowd ask for help when they needed it in order to make their college experience easier. “Princeton felt intimidating for me. I didn’t know what to expect, I didn’t know if I was smart enough”, she confessed. “No one gets through college on their own, and you have to get on campus right away and find your community. Never be isolated.”
Crowds then cheered as Michelle told the audience she was their “forever First Lady”. “I know you have everything it takes to succeed. I know that you are me, and if I can be standing here as your forever First Lady, then you can do anything you put your mind to. So remember this moment when you’re out there.”
Michelle took to Instagram after the event to share her excitement. “I know how hard all of you have worked to make your dreams of going to college come true. I was once in your shoes, and I know it isn’t easy”, she wrote. “But I can tell you that from the South Side of Chicago to Princeton and Harvard and beyond, my education unlocked so many doors for me – and I know it will do the same for you. That’s why #CollegeSigningDay has become one of my favourite traditions. It’s a day when we can all come together to honour your passion and ambition and cheer you on as you get ready to take the next big step in life. I’m so proud of you, and I can’t wait to see everything you achieve!”
The event is Michelle’s fifth since she first created the project in 2014 during her time in the White House. This year’s celebrity guests included Bradley Cooper, Robert DeNiro and Rebel Wilson.