From the South Side of Chicago, to Princeton University, Harvard Law School and now the White House, First Lady Michelle Obama knows all about breaking down barriers to reach success.
Since stepping into the spotlight as FLOTUS, she’s made major strides in promoting healthy eating, education, physical activity and more, while making it clear that she will continue to advance these missions after exiting the White House.
So what type of advice does a woman, who’s known as a role model to many, have for her younger self and other young women today?
Check out the 5 tips below.
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1. Stop being afraid: “That’s really what strikes me when I look back – the sheer amount of time I spent tangled up in fears and doubts that were entirely of my own creation. I was afraid of not knowing the answer in class and looking stupid, or worried about what some boy thought of me, or wondering whether the other girls liked my clothes or my hair, or angsting about some offhand comment someone made to me in the lunchroom,” FLOTUS wrote in an essay to herself for PEOPLE.
2. Be strategic: “I would have been more strategic. Because the thing is, getting into college nowadays is harder than ever before. I don’t remember having to think about all these things,” Obama said in an E! News interview with Terrence Jenkins.
3. Raise Your Own Bar: “I want to encourage all of us as young women—and older women—we have to raise our own bars. You won’t be successful hanging out with people who drag you down…. There is no boy at this age who is cute enough or interesting enough to stop you from getting your education,” the first lady said at Glamour’s The Power of an Education Girl panel.
4. Don’t take your education for granted: “I want you to be that hungry to get your education because it is going to be the key to your future,” said FLOTUS.
5. Beat the boys: “Compete with the boys. Beat the boys,” Obama advised a crowd of young women at a Glamour event last year.