REMARKS BY THE FIRST LADY AT UNIVERSITY OF CAPE TOWN YOUTH EVENT|University of Cape Town – Fuller Hall Cape Town, South Africa

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    happening.  I know that there are more and more young students from South Africa who are coming to the United States to get an education, and there are more and more students from the United States who are coming here to get an education, to serve in the Peace Corps, to teach, to work in communities.

    And I think that that’s the important beginning of the shared relationships between our countries.  Again, it starts with young people, you all starting to get to know each other’s worlds, and not being afraid to step in and out of it.

    So that’s another sort of challenge that comes your way in this generation, is that as you get your education here, how do you start beginning to think of yourselves as citizens of the world, too?

    And I say this to young people in the United States, is that if you ever have the opportunity to go outside of this country and live for a moment, to work for a second, to experience something else other than your own culture and your own reality, that’s where education begins for so many people.  And that’s true for all of you.

    So you’ve got to envision yourself here.  And then envision yourself in the world.  Start — keep thinking big.  So you’re going to come here, you’re going to get your degree, but maybe right before you finish, you go to work, you think, I’m going to travel to another place.  It doesn’t have to be the United States.  It could be somewhere else, just to expand your horizons and to keep building your own vision.  And I think that our countries can start — or expand on that process.

    But the truth is we all have challenges when it comes to education.  There’s more work that we need to do.  Every child in each of our countries should have equal opportunity for greatness and to learn, and we’re all still working towards that goal.  That’s another one of the challenges, quite frankly, you all are going to have to figure out, and are going to have to help build on that.

    DR. RAMPHELE:  Well, there we have it.

    Charné Behr from Oude Molen, what’s your question?

    Q    Do you still feel pressure being the first African American First Lady?

    MRS. OBAMA:  Do I feel –

    Q    The pressure.

    MRS. OBAMA:  Pressure, oh, the pressure.  I thought you said the “pleasure.”  (Laughter.)

    The pressure.  That’s a really good question.  I don’t know if I feel pressure.  But I feel deep, deep responsibility, and that — sort of that practice habit I got into.  I think whether I’m First Lady or whether I was a nurse or a mother, I feel like — the pressure to be absolutely good at what I’m doing, probably so that I could make my parents proud, I could make myself proud, and I don’t disappoint my country.

    So I guess in a sense there is pressure, because I don’t want to let people down, you know?  I didn’t necessarily run for office.  I was actually trying to talk my husband out of running for office.  (Laughter.)

    But now that we’re here, I want to be good because this is a big job, and it’s a big, bright light.  And you don’t want to waste it.  So I’m constantly thinking, how do I use this light?  And, you know, the light is limited,

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