Traditionally, if you were going to college, you would graduate high school and then the following fall, you’d be off to the dorms, starting your college career.  However, in 2016, the norm is quickly becoming to delay starting college by a year or so, to gain real-life experience.

Many young people are following this trend. Malia Obama recently announced that she would be taking some time off before starting Harvard. And now, Black-ish star Yara Shahidi has just announced that she too will do the same.


Shahidi told PEOPLE Magazine in a recent interview that she is, “willing to have a more unorthodox college experience, planning on deferring at least a year,” when the time comes.  She continues, “I know when Malia Obama announced [she was deferring], she got a lot of slack, but I feel like what’s interesting is I know so many people that are deferring. It’s more than to just roam around or just sit down and stare at a wall, but it will also give me an opportunity to work.  I’ve been working more than half of my life and that’s always been balanced with school and all of the other responsibilities, so to have a year to focus on work and to focus on specified interests will be nice before I pick a career and choose what I want to study and my life path.”

The teen actress and activist, who plays Zoey Johnson on the hit series, goes on to tell the popular magazine that she has her sights set on some of the top universities in the country and that she recently took the ACT exam and is “getting ready to go to college,” which includes “reaching out for recommendation letters [and] all of that jazz.”

“I definitely want to go further my education and I think the reason is because I want to study something specific. I want to study sociology. I don’t know what in sociology yet, but I want to study sociology and I feel like college would be the perfect opportunity to really dive into all of these random subjects that I’m curious about and really learn more things.”

Although Shahidi works in Los Angeles, she is open to attending a university on either coast and is supported by Black-ish creator Kenya Barris and her cast mates. “I’m applying to a variety of colleges on the east coast —I’ll be applying to Harvard… and I’ll be applying to West Coast schools as well. I think no matter what, I know that I want to go to college. I know that I’m going to defer a year and I’m willing to have a more unorthodox college experience, but at a certain point I want to be on a campus,” she stated.

We know that whatever path Shahidi takes, it is going to be right for her and we are going to be proud, no matter what.  It’s going to be exciting to see where this beloved teen settles in.

Tiffany Silva

Tiffany Silva

Writer and Editor

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