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Sasha Obama grew up in the public eye while her father Barack Obama served as president. Given those years without privacy, it made sense that Sasha quietly chose to attend the University of Michigan for college. For the most part, she's seemingly tried to forge through the experience as a relatively typical student.
In August 2019, Sasha was seen in Ann Arbor going through freshman orientation at the University of Michigan (via The Detroit News). That meant that she had put a bit of distance between herself and the rest of her family, given that parents Barack and Michelle remained in Washington, D.C., while big sister Malia had picked Harvard University.
Given her high-profile family, Sasha was never going to get an entirely typical college experience and Secret Service agents were spotted with her as soon as she was noticed on campus. However, as E! Online noted, Sasha did have roommates and her parents physically helped her move into her first dormitory room.
"We were there, just like most parents, helping her unpack and make her dorm room feel like home," Michelle told People. Sasha will always have her family by her side when she needs them, but Michelle said that she wanted her daughter to embrace her independence. "But by and large, we let her take care of herself. As a parent, one of the most important things we can give our children is the freedom to find their own way in the world," Michelle explained.
Sasha's experience shifted with the coronavirus pandemic
Those initial months in Ann Arbor seemed to provide Sasha Obama the privacy and independence she'd hoped for, as she laid relatively low with her roommates and mostly stayed out of the headlines (via E! Online). According to TMZ, Sasha could have had her pick of sororities had she decided to rush.
Unfortunately, the coronavirus pandemic hit during the spring of Sasha's freshman year. As a result, both Sasha and Malia returned to Washington, D.C. and shifted to online courses. In March 2020, Michelle told talk show host Ellen DeGeneres that everybody was home and her daughters were "off in their respective rooms doing their online classes" (via Instagram).
Once the new school year began in the fall of 2020, Michelle told Jennifer Lopez during an Instagram chat that Sasha was still studying at home. Sasha had wanted to return to Michigan as live classes became an option again. However, the family felt a little too uncertain regarding the coronavirus pandemic. In chatting with Today, Michelle admitted she felt bad for both Sasha and Malia for essentially missing a full year of their college experiences. Despite that, Michelle said she and Barack cherished having them home, even "just peeking in and hearing them in their online classrooms" at times.
Sasha will surely get more time back in Michigan as her journey through college progresses and fans of the family will be eager to hear more about her experience.