The former first lady, Michelle Obama, wrote many personal experiences in her autobiographical memoir Becoming. She also wrote about the most important moment in her life, which is when a college counselor told her she wasn’t “Princeton material.”
However, Michelle totally ignored the comment and decided to apply anyway. And when she got in, the former lady explains, she learned she was just as smart as everyone else there, even though she was led to believe the contrary.
Michelle revealed that at the beginning of her senior year at Whitney M. Young High School — a Chicago magnet school — they asked her to meet with a college counselor. She revealed how the college counselor didn’t believe she could make it to Princeton, because she didn’t have what it took to get there.
Her dream was to go to the New Jersey Ivy League school, her brother Craig was also attending, but she was shocked to hear from the counselor she wasn’t good enough for Princeton.
Michelle explains she doesn’t remember the woman’s age nor race, because she wanted to erase the ‘incident’ from her mind and apply to Princeton.
I wasn’t going to let one person’s opinion dislodge everything I thought I knew about myself.
And she did right, as she got her acceptance letter about six or seven months later. On her book, Michelle writes:
I never did stop in on the college counselor to tell her she’d been wrong—that I was Princeton material after all. It would have done nothing for either of us.
And in the end, I hadn’t needed to show her anything. I was only showing myself.
Although she admitted having been intimidated by Princeton at first, by sophomore year she saw she was smart like everyone else there. She also added her male peers always dominated the class — another thing she was intimidated by, but then she added:
Hearing them, I realized that they weren’t at all smarter than the rest of us. They were simply emboldened, floating on an ancient tide of superiority, buoyed by the fact that history had never told them anything different.