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Former President Barack Obama describes tearfully dropping off daughter Malia at college

Alex Lasker, AOL.com

Former President Barack Obama described the moment he became overwhelmed with emotion sending his eldest daughter off to college while speaking at an event for the Beau Biden Foundation on Monday.

The former first family was seen moving Malia, 19, into her Harvard dorm room on August 21 to begin her first year of college, following her 2016 gap year after graduating high school.

SEE ALSO: Obama family moves Malia into Harvard dorm

But, as many parents can attest, no amount of time can prepare you for the emotional moment that is parting ways with your child as they take their first real step towards independence -- and Barack Obama proved to be no exception to this rule. 

"For those of us who have daughters, it just happens fast," Obama recounted during the event. "I dropped off Malia at college, and I was saying to Joe and Jill (Biden) that it was a little bit like open-heart surgery."

"I was proud that I did not cry in front of her," the father of two admitted. "But on the way back, the Secret Service was off looking straight ahead, pretending they weren't hearing me as I sniffled and blew my nose. It was rough."

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Obama continued, saying that the emotional moment served as a "reminder that, at the end of our lives, whatever else we've accomplished, the things that we'll remember are the joys that our children, and hopefully way later, our grandchildren, bring us."

The former first daughter has attracted a lot of attention since she arrived at the Ivy League school.

On August 27, just days after she moved into her new dorm room, the freshman made headlines after she snapped at a woman trying to take a photo of her outside a Harvard Square eatery in Cambridge, Massachusets. 

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