Michelle Obama used words of wisdom to encourage young college students to stay the course at the Beating The Odds summit held by Reach Higher.

The event, which was was created by Obama, strives to encourage every student to purse higher education. As a former Princeton student, our Forever First Lady wanted to inspire students by sharing some of her own discouraging experiences in college, reports the Daily Mail.

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Obama said she knew she was smart enough to secure a coveted spot in the Ivy League but didn’t expect the racism she encountered. She said she only applied to the school for a simple reason.

“The only reason I applied to Princeton was because he went, and I knew I was smarter than him,” she joked to the incoming students at Twitter’s Washington DC office.

There was once a time, she said, she was told that she didn’t belong in the hallowed halls of the Ivy League school.

“They were wrong,” she said.

She encouraged the students to use negativity as a catalyst to greatness.

“They didn’t know me. They didn’t really know what they were talking about…and you can do that too. You will do that too. But don’t do it alone.”

Obama also inspired students to find their tribe who will serve as their support system.

“Find a community for yourself, you know, whether that’s through sports or it’s a cultural organization or a minority student group,” she said.

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“Finding a cohort for yourself and starting to build your community is going to be important.”

Studying school is stressful and Obama knows it. She also heartened students to take care of their mental health.

“Develop a routine for yourself. Exercise and how you eat is important,” Obama said.

Newfound freedom for Freshman also calls for students to cultivate a diet that’s less healthy than mom and pop would cook up. And like the caring momma she is, Obama called for the students to eat healthier.

“Have a vegetable, eat a salad, I’m serious y’all,” she said.