Michelle Obama penned a letter to her past self, and this should be required reading

It’s no secret that Michelle Obama is a role model for young women—and especially young women of color—everywhere. She recently shared intimate details of her struggles with classism, racism, and finding her own identity in her memoir, Becoming, and now, she has elaborated on these issues in a letter to herself for CBS News’ “Note to Self” series. The former first lady begins her note by recalling her insecurities upon arriving at Princeton University in the 1980s.

"You're at one of the finest universities in the world," Obama wrote. "You're smiling, and you should be, you worked hard for this. But even now, after you reached your goal, you're still not quite sure if you belong and can't get one question out of your mind: 'Am I good enough?'"

She discusses feeling like an outsider at a school where students “arrived on campus in limousines” (one of whom was even “rumored to be a real-life princess”). However, she assures her teenage self that the values her parents taught her will help her go far in life.

Obama also sneaks in some kind words about her husband, former President Barack Obama. She tells her younger self that she’ll meet someone “grounded and kind and absolutely brilliant” as well as “pretty good looking too.” But she acknowledges that her relationship takes work and is especially open about the prejudice she has faced as a result of living in the public eye.

"You'll be attacked by people who've never met you and don't really care to," she writes. "They'll try to harm you for their own gain. Don't stoop to their level, no matter how gratifying it might feel in the moment."

She ends with a simple reminder: “You’re more than enough, Miche. You always have been, and you always will be.”


Obama’s letter is a powerful reminder to everyone who has ever struggled with self-doubt, and we think the above video should be required viewing.

Filed Under