Here's What Yara Shahidi Is Studying At School

Being thrust into the spotlight at a young age isn't easy for anyone, and over the years, we've seen firsthand as young actors have struggled to come of age in the public eye. But in recent years (and a few cautionary tales later), many young actors are now instead focused on using their platform to bring awareness to causes they believe in and providing a positive example for those who look up to them.

Take Yara Shahidi, for example. The actress made her debut as Zoey Johnson on "Black-ish" when she was only 13 years old, before eventually headlining the show's spin-off "Grown-ish" (via Entertainment Weekly). In the years since, Shahidi has taken on activism, in addition to acting. In fact, in honor of the star's 18th birthday, she hosted a voting party, complete with a registration booth, to ensure the ease of her attendees' signing up to vote. She even launched an organization entitled Eighteen x 18 in order to impress upon her peers the importance of voting and staying active year in and year out.

Shahidi, who was raised in a "humanitarian family" comes to her activism naturally. "I think it's normal now to be on the cusp of many different emerging identities, which makes it more important not only to advocate for the things you're familiar with but to intentionally educate yourself and expand," she explained to Town and Country.

Splitting time between Hollywood and Harvard

So while Yara Shahidi continues filming "Grown-ish," she's also taking the time she needs to prioritize her education (via TV Insider). A few years ago, Shahidi enrolled at Harvard, even receiving a letter of recommendation from one of its most famous alumni, First Lady Michelle Obama. "I've been acting since kindergarten," Shahdi explained in an interview with The New York Times, "so I found it really important to take my time in this next step of my journey and appreciate it."

While at Harvard, Shahidi is double majoring in sociology and African American studies (via Black Enterprise). And proving that maybe you can have the best of both worlds, Shahidi was granted her request present early at the 2021 Emmy Awards so that she wouldn't have to miss any of her classes.

Between starring on "Grown-ish" and going to college, it seems as though Shahidi is taking the time to pursue a few different dreams. "I've wanted to be a history professor for longer than I've wanted to be an actress," Shahidi said during an appearance on "Jimmy Kimmel Live!" (via People). "And so I used to have the Harvard webpage up, and I'd go through the course catalog. So needless to say, this is something I've been planning for a long time."