U.S. first lady Michelle Obama speaks during a session of a Fashion Education Workshop in the East Room of the White House
Alex Wong—Getty Images
By Laura Stampler
October 13, 2014

No one is immune to the awkward discomfort that is middle school. And that includes First Lady Michelle Obama, also known as the Beyoncé BFF who probably should have won “Best Arms of the Class of 1981” in high school.

FLOTUS wrote an essay to her younger self in this week’s People that discusses her angst-ridden younger years:

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.”

Even though Obama still faces high school-esque antics — including news commentators discussing her weight — she has certainly risen above the lunchroom chatter.

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