Ayo Edebiri opens up about how college experience made her question religious beliefs

Ayo Edebiri opens up about how college altered her religious beliefs  (Getty Images for The Met Museum/)
Ayo Edebiri opens up about how college altered her religious beliefs (Getty Images for The Met Museum/)
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

Ayo Edebiri has candidly revealed how attending New York University made her question her religion.

Speaking toVanity Fair for a cover story published on May 21, the actress detailed her rise in Hollywood in tandem with her religious unrest which took place during her undergraduate experience.

Edebiri graduated from NYU in 2017. Like her change in study from education to dramatic writing, The Bear star’s perspectives on what she’d been introduced to throughout her childhood altered as well. According to Vanity Fair, Edebiri grew up Pentecostal, frequently attending church with her family. Spending time singing with the church choir group wasn’t a problem but being engrossed in the religion brought about many anxieties for her.

“It was horrible for my anxiety,” she admitted. “I was petrified of death. I was petrified of the rapture.”

Once she was at NYU, Edebiri’s concerns extended past her own wellbeing. She felt morally conflicted knowing that the religion she’s taken part in didn’t believe in sending her “Gay and Muslim friends” to heaven.

She noted: “It was genuinely breaking my brain and giving me so much stress and sadness.”

Edebiri said she couldn’t confidently practice being Pentecostal anymore. “I was just like: ‘I need a break,’” she said.

Attending college was more than just gaining educational insight for Edebiri, the young student was learning to support herself, working multiple jobs while juggling her studies.

“I was 17 when I went to college [and] I was really poor,” she told Vanity Fair. “I was always working. I barista’d at this random coffee shop for three weeks, and then our boss was skimming money so I left, and then I did some baristing at ABC Kitchen.”

Apart from being a barista, Edebiri babysat and worked in the university’s call center for alumni donations.

Being from Dorchester, Massachusetts, Boston felt like “the sticks” after she moved to Manhattan.

Edebiri confessed: “When I went back I was like: ‘What is this? Am I in the sticks? We’re closing businesses at 10pm? I’m embarrassed.’”

Recently, fans have speculated that Edebiri and her costar Jeremy Allen White share more than just a working relationship. On May 19, the two were spotted at Wrigley Field in Chicago, Illinois, looking cozy as they sat to watch the Cubs face off against the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Though their other castmates from The Bear were sitting around them, the Shameless actor seemed to be focused on Edebiri. In one video uploaded to X, formerly known as Twitter, White’s arm is seen wrapped around Edebiri’s back, rubbing her with his hand.

Ayo Edebiri and Jeremy Allen White spotted together at baseball game (TikTok)
Ayo Edebiri and Jeremy Allen White spotted together at baseball game (TikTok)

Viewers immediately gasped at seeing them so close, contemplating whether this meant they were no longer just friends.