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Michelle Obama's New YouTube Series Sets College Students Up For Success

by Christina Montoya Fiedler

College can be the most exciting time in a young person's life, but it can also be a confusing period. Combine that with the fact that a good chunk of today's college population can be classified as first-generation students, there's a lot of information to cover. This is why Michelle Obama's new YouTube series for first-time college students is so important, as it gives young people the tools they need to succeed in what can be a challenging transition.

"A Student's Guide To Your First Year of College," debuted on YouTube Sept. 4, and is a 10-part series curated by the former first lady in conjunction with her longtime education initiative, Reach Higher, an organization that encourages students to complete education beyond high school, and news organization Now This, according to Newsweek.

This series is a part of the YouTube Learning channel initiative which was launched amid a $20 million investment to fund education-focused content, according to CNBC.

Each video of the series answers an important question, including the following list of examples:

  • How Do I Pay For College?
  • How Do I Live On My Own?
  • How Do I Find My Squad?
  • How Do I Find A Mentor?
  • How Do I Balance School & Social Life At College?
  • How Do I Stay On Track With My Studies?
  • How Do I Live On A Budget At College?
  • How Do I Stay Healthy & Practice Self-Care?

The series also includes a 3-minute welcome and a new college student pep talk from Obama herself. "When my dad dropped me off at college I remember feeling overwhelmed and I have a feeling some of you might know what I'm talking about," she empathizes. "And I can't wait to see what you do in the year's ahead."

The news of Obama's series came just a week after her annual Beating the Odds Summit at Howard University in Washington, D.C., where she conducts roundtable discussions with first-generation college students to help them succeed on their road to higher education, according to Forbes.

In Obama's best-selling memoir, Becoming, she talks about her experiences growing up in a low-income Chicago suburb, later moving on to elite institutions like Princeton and Harvard Law School, according to Inside Higher Ed. So Obama knows a thing or two about trying to make sense of a new environment, which is just one reason why she felt compelled to launch this helpful series.

"Let me tell you, they’re not smarter than you," Obama told first-generation students in July, according to Good Morning America. "I’ve met these people. You are faster, quicker, smarter, sharper. Yes you have to be, but they are no smarter than you, because trust me, they were no smarter than me. And I’ve lived long enough to see that truth."

The former first lady spends a lot of time mentoring students, letting them know that college is attainable no matter who you are or where you came from. And this 10-part series is just another example of her inspiring dedication. It's a great resource for any student who's about to embark on their first college adventure.