Michelle Obama’s Top Tips for College-Bound Students

Who wouldn’t want a few snippets of practical advice from first lady Michelle Obama? The incredibly accomplished first lady graduated from Princeton University and then Harvard Law School, making her a great source of info for college-bound students. In fact, according the Washington Post, the first lady recently spent some time talking about the college application process and offered her words of wisdom to college-bound students at Georgetown University,

We’ll share her piece of advice with you, and then offer our feedback on it. Here goes:

1. Make sure that you apply.
It may seem like a lighthearted piece of advice, but the first lady was not joking around. It’s simple logic: if you don’t apply, you won’t go. Students shouldn’t doubt themselves or base their decisions on what their friends decide to do. If you want to go to college, you have to apply.

2. Think about how many student loans you can realistically handle.
According the Post, for many years, the Obamas spent more money each month on their student loans than they did on their mortgage. This is definitely a heightened issue in today’s economy. Although education is not cheap, students should not assume that’s just the cost of an education. Do some financial planning and make sure you can afford the schools you’re accepted to.

3. Take ownership of your college search.
Your parents and mentors have great advice to offer you. But at the end of the day, if you’re the one that’s going to be paying off the student loans, you need to take responsibility for your college search. After all, it’s your education. Do the research and find the college that suits you and that you can afford.

4. Push yourself and venture away from home.
The first lady has a good point; a young person can learn so much about themselves and the world by leaving the place they’re most comfortable. Still, this is not an option for everybody. In fact, for some students, commuting to school and living at home is the best way to continue with their education while saving money.

5. “Don’t let fear guide you.”
What a great point for life in general! Obama stressed that choosing a college should be based on goals and dreams, not fears. Don’t be afraid of your own success or a choice that might surprise the folks around you.

6. All along the way, “work your butts off.”
Hard work pays off. Maybe not right away, but in the long run, you will learn more from working hard than slacking off. Also, you will garner more respect for your work ethic and you might pave a path for yourself that wasn’t there before you started working on it. The point is, once you get into college and enroll, the journey’s not over.

Will you take some of Michelle Obama’s advice? What advice would you give to college-bound students?


Original Post Date: November 9th, 2011

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