Yara Shahidi graduates from Harvard University

“I’ve known I wanted to go to college since I was four. By 17, I knew exactly what I wanted to study," the actress said.

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Yara Shahidi graduated from Harvard University on Friday and she and her proud parents celebrated the milestone on social media. 

Shahidi’s father, Afshin, shared a selfie of the two together with the 22-year-old “Black-ish” and “Grown-ish” star wearing her black cap and gown, Page Six reports.

“Beautifully surreal moment seeing our delicate petal in full bloom,” her dad captioned his photo, tagging his famous daughter and wife, Keri. Shahidi reposted the same photo on her Instagram story. 

Actress Yara Shahidi attends the 73rd Primetime Emmy Awards Sept. 19 2021, in Los Angeles. (Photo: Rich Fury/Getty Images)

“Yara (noun): a Harvard graduate 👩🏾‍🎓 #ITSOFFICIAL #CLASSOF2022,” she captioned two photos of herself. Shahidi began as a freshman at Harvard in 2017 but took a gap year before beginning her studies, per NBC News. Former first lady Michelle Obama wrote her a recommendation letter for college. 

As reported previously by theGrio, Shahidi revealed in a 2018 interview how her television character helped her prepare for college.

“I feel like what Black-ish and Grown-ish have taught me is that my opinion matters,” she told PEOPLE. “Being on a set in which they want to hear your voice, and they want to hear your input — you know, it’s very special for an actor — but particularly, a teenager. And a teenage girl. There’s statistics done on just how subdued our voices are, because we aren’t really given a space, or the support.” 

As an undergrad at Harvard, Shahidi studied at the university’s social studies and African American departments, concentrating on “Black political thought under a neocolonial landscape,” she told Vogue.

“It’s surreal to have finally hit this major milestone,” she told the magazine. “I’ve known I wanted to go to college since I was four. By 17, I knew exactly what I wanted to study, so to see that come to fruition is a goal fulfilled.”

As part of her graduation obligations, the actress unpacked the work of Jamaican writer Sylvia Wynter for a 136-page thesis paper titled “I Am a Man: The Emancipation of Humanness from Western Hegemony Through the Lens of Sylvia Wynter.” 

“For the majority of my career, I’ve always had an essay or assignment due. This feels like a new chapter where I can invest time into more of what I love to do,” she said. 

The graduation photos she shared on Instagram have garnered many congratulatory comments from some of her celebrity pals, including Tracee Ellis Ross, Shahidi’s “Black-ish” co-star, and La La Anthony, who wrote, “Amazing!! Congrats!!! So proud of u❤️.”

Meanwhile, you can catch Shahidi on the forthcoming fifth season of “Grown-ish,” which kicks off in July.

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