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Freshman students at HBCU Howard University got an incredible surprise on Thursday. First Lady Michelle Obama joined talk show host Seth Myers and actor and college freshman Nick Cannon to speak with the first-time students. 

According to PeopleObama was greeted with a standing ovation after Meyers introduced her in a school auditorium and the trio later gave advice and answered questions from the audience. Some of Obama’s words of wisdom included the importance of living within your means. 

Don’t rush to ballin’. Grow into your lifestyle,” she said. 

The First Lady stressed students should choose a major they are passionate about, make the most out of future internships and to step outside of their “comfort zones and soar.” She also reminded the Class of 2020 that despite how tough times get, don’t forget to laugh. 

Laughter is a huge de-stressor, so make sure you get that in,” she said.

In addition, she told them to ignore their critics who will only try to bring them down.

Just brush it off and just do the work,” she said. “It’s the doing of the work that just gets you through. It’s not what other people think of you. I still carry that with me today as First Lady of the United States, because there are people who don’t think I should be doing that either. And it’s been eight years,” Obama said. 

In addition, Cannon shared why he decided to go to school, despite having a successful career and being his 30s. 

I’m not here for a degree. I’m here because I have a real thirst for knowledge,” he said. 

And Myers told students to cherish their time during the next four years.

Embrace this time. When you get out of college no one gives you time anymore,” he stressed.

Mrs. Obama’s visit to the Washington, D.C. university was part of her Reach Higher initiative, which encourages students to attend college and her Better Make Room campaign, which tries to connect with students through social media, People noted. 

And students were definitely on social media tweeting about how dope it was to have the First Lady visit their school:


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#BlackExcellence: Michelle Obama Surprises Howard University Students  was originally published on