Michelle Obama told high school students taking part in a mentoring program at Georgetown University on Tuesday that being married to the president can be scary at times, because he makes the family get out of its comfort zone.
The first lady urged students not to let fear guide them after a student asked about being worried about going away to college.
"I mean this is scary," she said. "Shoot, being married to Barack Obama? He's got big plans. He's always pushing us beyond our comfort zones, and I'm dragged along going, `What's he doing now? No, not this.'"
She told the group of about 50 students from schools in Maryland, Washington and Virginia that she had her own doubts about going from a public school in Chicago to college at Princeton. She said she wondered whether she'd be able to compete with classmates who were wealthier and had gone to some of the best schools in the world. But she said she was willing to work hard and found her strengths.
"One of my strengths was that I had a big mouth, and I liked to talk a lot," she said, adding that she tells her own daughters not to be afraid to speak up.
She said her advice for college students is not to procrastinate, to ask for help and not to get into credit card debt.
"So in college buy what you can afford, which for most college students is nothing," she said.
The students visited classes and toured the Georgetown campus before spending about an hour with the first lady.