Yara Shahidi Talks Heading to Harvard and Reveals if She’s Met Malia Obama Yet

Yara Shahidi arrives at the premiere of ABC's Grown-ish
Yara Shahidi arrives at the premiere of ABC's "Grown-ish" on December 13, 2017 in Hollywood, California. Amanda Edwards/WireImage.com

Talk about being relatable! Us Weekly caught up with Yara Shahidi on Wednesday, December 13, where she dished on her upcoming role — as a college student.

“I am so excited for the classes, and I know that sounds like, ‘Oh goodness she’s a nerd.’ I am. Honestly, I think to be in an environment, which people for the most part actually want to be there to learn, that’s [what] I’m looking forward to,” the actress, 17, told Us about heading to Harvard while attending the Grown-ish world premiere in Hollywood. “ I’m looking forward to just generally expanding.”

The Black-ish star, whose letter of recommendation for college came from none other than Michelle Obama, revealed whether or not she’s gotten advice from the former first daughter, Malia, who also attends the Ivy League school. “No,” she told Us. “I’ve actually never met her before!”

Harvard isn’t the only thing the young talent has to celebrate. She and her ABC sitcom family have been nominated for the 2018 SAG Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series. “I was just at one of [the Black-ish] table readings and we were all celebrating because of Anthony [Anderson’s] nominations and the show’s nominations,” she gushed to Us. “I feel like it was really nice!”

Michelle Obama and Yara Shahidi
Michelle Obama greets actress and activist Yara Shahidi with a ‘high five’ during a panel discussion at Glamour Hosts “A Brighter Future: A Global Conversation on Girls’ Education” on October 11, 2016 in Washington, DC. Paul Morigi/Getty Images

Wise beyond her years, Shahidi detailed her opinion of “millennials” to Us. “[We] get blamed for the social media epidemic, or the iphone generation … for not being connected to the world around [us],” she said. “In which case I’d really like to force people into the thinking of so many of these platforms that we use were not created by our generation … they’re making money off of us basically, and no one likes to talk about that. It is good for business, it is good for the economy, it is good for capitalism, that we are doing what we’re doing. So we are punished for something that is actively benefiting the world around us.”

She added, “From the age of 10, as soon as we get a phone, we’re now running our personal brands. It’s one of those things that it is up to us as an intergenerational thing in order to restructure that, if we want to see change.”

Grown-ish, the Black-ish spinoff, is set to air on Wednesday, January 3, with a two-episode season premiere.

Reporting by Emily Marcus

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