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Yara Shahidi college


Yara Shahidi, 18, has spent the vast majority of her very young life in front of the camera. She’s been working in the industry since she was just six years old, but her career-defining role, thus far, has been portraying Zoey Johnson on ABC’s Black-ish and Freeform’s Grown-ish. She’s been on the series since she was just 14, and because of that, the experiences she missed out on her in own teen life she ended up living through her character. That includes having her first slow dance.

The star, who was featured in PEOPLE‘s “Beautiful” issue (formerly known as “Most Beautiful”) said dancing close to her male co-star Lucas Hall during the first season of Grown-ish was the closest she’d been to anyone who isn’t family.

“A lot of fake firsts, on Grown-ish,” she said. “I promise you that was not Adderall I was taking. That was a sugar pill. I checked, I read the label. And I even realized, episode 12, like the episode that just aired, that was my first slow dance. I was like, ‘I’ve never been this close to another human being.'”

Shahidi previously told Seventeen magazine that she had never been in a relationship with anyone. Her schedule just doesn’t allow it and she, honestly, has better things to do.

“I haven’t dated anybody. My general outlook is if I don’t have time to take a bath on a regular basis, then I don’t have time for another human,” she said. “I love being busy, and I enjoy where I am at right now.”

But as for her chat with PEOPLE, Shahidi did say that she hoped she will get to do a lot more and that her college experience “will be different” than what she’s experienced through Grownish when she finally enters Harvard.

“Of course, I’m not Zoey, and so I don’t think I will have three guys pining over me,” she said. “Nor do I think, I mean, I can say this as a fact, Adderall is not my thing, that is not my thing. And so we’re going to have very different experiences, which I’m really looking forward to, because of course I think Grown-ish college is nice, and of course, it’s taught me a whole lot about college that I didn’t know before, but it is cool to live a very alternative experience, and not feel as though my own college experience is being taken away from me. I get to live a new, authentic experience, that’s going to be so different from what we do on-set.”

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