“Grown-ish” star Yara Shahidi graduated from Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, on Thursday — and marked the occasion with her proud parents.
The 22-year-old actor’s father, Afshin, celebrated the special moment by sharing a selfie of the two together. In the snap, shared on Instagram, the graduate is wearing her black cap and gown with a stole draped over her shoulders.
“Beautifully surreal moment seeing our delicate petal in full bloom,” her dad captioned his photo, tagging the “Black-ish” star and his wife, Keri. Shahidi reposted her father’s photo on her Instagram story.
Her mom also shared a photo of her daughter smiling and holding flowers after her graduation.
The actor had been preparing for the big day by sharing photos of herself “celebrating all week” on Instagram. On Wednesday, she also posted a photo with her brothers, Sayeed and Ehsan, on the steps of the university campus.
“T-Minus 1 day to GRADUATION🔥 so here I am, sharing this special moment with my most special day one’s,” she captioned her Instagram photo.
Shahidi was accepted into Harvard in 2017 but took a gap year before beginning her studies. Former first lady Michelle Obama wrote her a college recommendation letter.
The actor 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.”
To officially graduate, she completed a 136-page thesis paper titled “I Am a Man: The Emancipation of Humanness from Western Hegemony Through the Lens of Sylvia Wynter,” which takes a look at the Jamaican writer’s work “and larger questions as well.”
Meanwhile, the star hopes to continue acting and producing, and is “so excited” for what her future holds.
“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 expressed, also adding she’s ready to create “opportunities to exercise what I’ve learned — and to be flexible to learn so much more.”
A version of this article was originally posted to Today.com
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