CHICAGO — It was busy 24 hours for former President Barack Obama in Chicago.

Wednesday night, he delivered remarks at the University of Chicago and then attended a Bulls game.

Thursday, Obama visited high school students at Hyde Park Academy. His message? Try new experiences, develop good habits and don’t sweat mistakes.

“You are not bound by whatever the circumstances are in which you’re coming up,” he said.

To motivate the students to take control of their lives, the former president talked about the importance of self-examination.

“I was messy. I’d grown up without a dad,” he said. “I had sometimes an attitude about school and didn’t apply myself. I partied a little too hard. … The point is that I ended up president of the United States but it wasn’t a straight line.” 

Obama told the teens to think about what they want to do with lives. And he encouraged the student athletes to broaden their horizons.

A problem awaiting students at Hyde Park Academy and elsewhere – the weaponization of disinformation. It’s a topic the former president took head on at the Institute of Politics.

“There is a demand for crazy on the Internet that we have to grapple with,” he said. “We don’t know what we don’t know. It’s very difficult for us to get out of the reality that is constructed for us.” 

A student at Hyde Park Academy asked Obama why he chose this school for his visit. He said when he moved to Chicago in 1985, Hyde Park was his first stop. It’s his home.