Yara Shahidi admits that her college application process has been a bit “surreal,” thanks to Michelle Obama.
During an interview W magazine published Wednesday, the “Black-ish” star talked about the support she’s received from the former first lady, who penned recommendation letters to four universities, including her alma mater Harvard.
“She is very amazing and such a supporter, which is something very surreal to say,” Shahidi said, adding that Obama told her to “go get ’em, tiger” before she took her AP exams.
Last October, Obama and Shahidi teamed up to discuss the importance of girls’ education around the globe during Glamour’s “International Day of the Girl.”
Before the 17-year-old begins higher education ― she is planning to double major in sociology and African American studies ― she wants to have “a more unorthodox college experience” by deferring at least a year, she told People in October.
Similar to Malia Obama, Shahidi says she will use the yearlong gap to recalibrate her life and career.
“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,” she said. “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.”
She continued: “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.”