Michelle Obama Was Once an Awkward Teenager, Too

Michelle Obama Was Once an Awkward Teenager, Too

The first lady gives herself some good advice.

Published October 14, 2014

First Lady Michelle Obama wasn't always the self-assured woman the world has come to know and admire. Like many young people, she felt awkward and insecure about what the other kids thought about her.

In a special essay published in this week's People magazine, the first lady shares with her younger self some words of wisdom that might encourage teenagers whose self-esteem sometimes bottoms out to believe more in themselves and realize that this too, shall pass.

An excerpt:

"If I could give my younger self just one piece of advice, it would be this: Stop being so 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.

I would love to go back in time and tell my younger self, 'Michelle, these middle and high school years are just a tiny blip in your life, and all the slights and embarrassments and heartaches, all those times you got that one question wrong on that test – none of that is important in the scheme of things.'"

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(Photo: Kevin Dietsch/UPI/Landov)

(Photo: Olivier Douliery/Pool/Corbis)

Written by Joyce Jones

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