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*In a much-anticipated announcement, President Barack Obama and, his wife, First Lady Michelle Obama recently announced their eldest daughter, Malia, will take a year off between her high school graduation and her 2017 start at Harvard University. According to the Associated Press, the university encourages incoming students to spend a year prior to their collegiate start tackling a special project, traveling, working or taking on some other meaningful pursuit. The student is not to enroll in any other college program that might grant a degree.

In June, high school senior Malia, 17, will graduate from Sidwell Friends, the exclusive District of Columbia school first daughter Chelsea Clinton also attended. Malia’s 14-year-old sister, Sasha, is now a freshman at Sidwell.

According to the first lady, Malia aims to become a filmmaker spending this past summer interning on the HBO “Girls” set, which stars Lena Dunham, and the summer of 2014 working as a production assistant on the now-canceled CBS sci-fi drama “Extant” with starlet Halle Berry. Further, Malia took on internships at Washington’s Smithsonian National Zoo.

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President Obama has talked publicly of the dread he feels for his eldest daughter’s coming departure for college; he even passed on an invitation to speak at Malia’s high school graduation stating he felt he would be too emotional. With a year-long gap before venturing to college, Malia can now use this time to stay close to family as they transition from the White House back to normal life. The Obamas will remain in DC for the time being as Sasha completes her schooling at Sidwell.

In a recent appearance on Ellen DeGeneres, President Obama said, “Both of my daughters are wonderful people. Malia’s more than ready to leave, but I’m not ready for her to leave. She’s one of my best friends. It’s going to be hard for me not to have her around all the time, but she’s ready to go. She’s just a really smart, capable person and she’s ready to make her own way.”