Saying she planned to celebrate all week, Shahidi posted pictures of herself on social media donning her cap and gown along with a custom Dior suit to mark the august occasion.
Enrolling in the Ivy League university in 2017, Shahidi completed her four-year program (after taking a gap year) with a 136-thesis paper to earn her bachelor’s degree within Harvard’s social and African American studies department” while acting full-time.
In an interview with Vogue Magazine, she expressed her excitement about becoming a college graduate.
“It’s surreal to have finally hit this major milestone … I’ve known I wanted to go to college since I was four,” she said. “By 17, I knew exactly what I wanted to study, so to see that come to fruition is a goal fulfilled.”
Her paper titled “I Am a Man: The Emancipation of Humanness from Western Hegemony Through the Lens of Sylvia Wynter,” explores the work of the Jamaican writer and her ideas about identity and equality.
“Writing my thesis pushed me as an academic because the question I was asking was one I care about in my everyday life and in the world,” she said. “For example, ‘What could the future of equality and equity look like?’ My thesis was a moment to connect these past four years of education to something that connects to what I’m passionate about, and have grounded myself in my entire life.”
Now that she has completed her studies, she’s anticipating returning to her love of acting without having any assignments due for the first time in several years.
“I love what I do in the acting, entertainment, and producing worlds. I am so excited for this future moment of being able to pour my all into all of those areas,” she said. “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.”