"Change happens when citizens are informed, are engaged, are paying attention, are asking tough questions," 54-year-old Obama said at the University of Chicago.

"Asking tough questions of themselves not just of others. Not too comfortable with whatever dogmas that we all attach ourselves to. And you are learning the kind of critical thinking in this school that will allow you to become really good citizens. Use it," Obama said in his interaction with students of the Chicago Law School.

"I'm phasing out of this particular part of my life, but I've said this before. I believed it when I was teaching here, I believe it even more now after having been president, the most important office in a democracy is the office of citizens. I really believe that," Obama said.

Obama's presidency is set to end on January 20, 2017, when the 45th President is expected to take office.

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