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This is Yara Shahidi's dream college roommate — and it's not Malia Obama

Dana Oliver
Beauty Director

Yara Shahidi graced the Build Series stage in New York on Feb. 6 with her brilliance and beauty to promote Grown-ish, a college-set spinoff of the popular ABC series Black-ish. Like her onscreen character, Zoey, the 17-year-old actress and advocate is off to higher learning at Harvard. No big deal, right?

Armed with the support of former first lady Michelle Obama, a solid foundation nurtured by her parents, and an unfiltered glimpse into real-life college experiences via Freeform’s Grown-ish, Shahidi will no doubt settle into the Ivy League school quite nicely after her gap year.

If we could go back in time and relive our uni days, we’d definitely want to share close quarters with Shahidi. But when the bright young star revealed her dream college roommate, we were stunned she didn’t suggest fellow Harvard student Malia Obama.

“I would choose James Baldwin just because it’ll be really useful when writing essays to turn over him and say, ‘So can you give me a quote to work with?’ ’cause I feel like that’s what I do anyway,” she says.

If you follow Shahidi on Instagram, you’ll know that she is a huge fan of the essayist, novelist, and playwright. She considers Baldwin to be one of her “idols,” and her obsession is evident with her collection of Baldwin-themed pillows, tees, candles, as well as a signed copy of Go Tell It on the Mountain.

Don’t worry. We won’t take it personally that you’d pick rooming with Baldwin over us.

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