Probably one of the most exclusive clubs in the world is the “first kids” club. From Chelsea Clinton to Jenna Bush and more recently Barron Trump, we watch “first kids” grow up in the White House and the worldwide spotlight. It can be fascinating to see how these famous kids turn out once they leave the White House.
Now, the world is watching 18-year-old Sasha Obama, youngest daughter of Barack and Michelle Obama. Her father became president when she was just seven years old, making her the youngest “first kid” in the White House since JFK Jr.
All grown up, now she is embarking on her future as an adult. Here are some surprising facts about Sasha Obama.
Her real name is Natasha
That’s right, “Sasha” is a nickname. She has been “Sasha” to the world since her father started running for president. But it wasn’t until she had to fill out an application for a summer job at 15 that the world learned her legal name is Natasha Obama. This caused a bit of a stir on Twitter when the public found out. Though, probably not as much as when the world learned that Meghan Markle’s real name is Rachel.
She once worked as a cashier at a restaurant
Sasha Obama still had to get a summer job like other 15-year-olds, even though her father was the most powerful man in the world at the time. In this case, she got a job at a seafood restaurant on Martha’s Vineyard, a popular summer tourist destination. She bussed tables like a regular employee and even worked the drive-through window. She was not treated differently than other servers… except for the Secret Service detail at the restaurant.
She met her celebrity crushes at the White House
Growing up in the White House, Sasha had celebrity crushes like other teenage girls. However, unlike everyone else, she sometimes got to meet them in person. This included boy band heartthrobs One Direction and the Jonas Brothers, who visited the White House. But perhaps she was most excited about meeting her celebrity crush actor Ryan Reynolds at a White House function. She managed not to fall apart like regular teens would after meeting her favorite.
She was caught yawning during her father’s inauguration
Being the daughter of a president meant Sasha had to be on her best behavior at all times. That’s a lot of responsibility for a kid, but she seems to have managed it fairly well.
Even though they were in an extremely privileged position, Sasha was never left to fend for herself. Her parents taught her early on that anything she said or did would end up on the internet forever. But the usual White House directive about news coverage of minor children meant that she had some measure of privacy that the adults around her did not have.
Except of course for the time she yawned during her father’s 2013 inauguration speech and cameras caught it worldwide.
She graduated high school in June 2019
Barack and Michelle Obama wanted to give their children as normal an upbringing as was possible, considering where they were. Sasha had restrictions on television and computer use during the weekdays, dinner was at 6:30 pm. But she wasn’t locked in the house all day; she went to school and took trips to the mall and went to concerts.
After leaving the White House, the Obamas elected to stay in Washington D.C. while Sasha finished high school rather than moving and disrupt her environment. Like other children of political figures, Sasha attended the Sidwell Friends School. This private school was founded by the Quakers and has a unique philosophy on education. Sasha spent four years there and graduated in June 2019.
She chose to go to a public university instead of the Ivy League
Sasha’s grades were good enough to get her into an Ivy League school. And many thought should would follow in the footsteps of her parents and sister, who each attended Ivy League universities for their undergraduate degrees. Her father went to Columbia University, her mother went to Princeton, and her older sister Malia went to Harvard.
Instead, Sasha opted to go to the University of Michigan, a top school known as a “public Ivy.” She started there as a freshman in the fall of 2019. And yes, her Secret Service detail is still with her. Other than that, she’s a perfectly typical new student. She hasn’t declared her major yet, but she has plenty of time to choose a career.
Sasha Obama managed to make it through her difficult public teen years with minimal wear. One can only imagine what the future holds for her.