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Barack and Michelle Obama are every parent as they move Malia into Harvard

by Scott Stump / / Source: TODAY

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In his trademark dad jeans and her signature elegant style, Barack and Michelle Obama were like any other parents helping their child on the first day of college when their daughter Malia moved into her dorm at Harvard University this week.

On a day when much of the nation was busy watching the rare solar eclipse, the former president and first lady were busy hauling boxes on Monday as they helped their oldest daughter get settled in her new home in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Both parents were sporting sunglasses, probably for the inevitable "I'm not crying, you're crying!" moment experienced by plenty of parents sending their first-born off to college.

Malia, 19, graduated from high school in 2016 and then took a gap year before enrolling at Harvard. Looking laid-back as her parents helped her move in, she appeared in photos to be quickly making some friends.

She and her younger sister, Sasha, 16, said farewell to the White House, their home for much of their childhood, with a pizza night and a slumber party as their dad's second term in office came to an end in January.

Image: One of 300 pictures released by the White House on Flickr
President Obama and his daughters Sasha and Malia walk through the White House in March of 2009.PETE SOUZA / WHITE HOUSE HANDOUT / EPA

The daughters of three straight presidents have now gone off to college either while their fathers were still in office or shortly after, starting with Chelsea Clinton. Bill and Hillary Clinton helped their only child get acclimated to her future home at Stanford University back in 1997.

US President Bill Clinton (R) walks with US First
Hillary and Bill Clinton experienced the same emotions as the Obamas back when they helped daughter Chelsea move into Stanford University back in 1997. AFP/Getty Images

She was followed by the Bush twins, TODAY correspondent Jenna Bush Hager and her twin sister, Barbara, the daughters of George W. Bush. Jenna graduated from the University of Texas, while Barbara is a Yale University alumna.

The Bush twins offered some words of wisdom to the Obama sisters as they embarked on the next chapter of their lives.

"Enjoy college. As most of the world knows, we did," they said, a nod to the much-reported brushes with the law both Bush twins experienced while drinking underage.

"And you won’t have the weight of the world on your young shoulders anymore. Explore your passions. Learn who you are. Make mistakes — you are allowed to."

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