[Side Story] Onew Teen’s life

after wrote the side story of Onew’s childhood, now it’s time to write about his teen’s life… it’s also exciting for me to do all the research and put them all in one post. There’s a lot of story of him which you may or may not know. This post tries to portrait more of it

As you probably read, at first Onew didn’t have intention to be a singer or idol. Though his parents encouraged him to be a singer and always praised his voice.  But teen Onew still thought about not wanting to be an idol. It was until he got praises from his friends and his music teachers in junior high school that lead him to think about wanting to be a singer. Then he came to his parents and said he wanted to be a singer. His parents were so happy and decided to enter him in SM Academy. The year of Onew entered the SM academy is still unknown but some fans discovered it’s probably in 2004 or 2005. Sm Academy is a music school and it’s very expensive to get someone to be able to learn music there. Though, not all the SM academy students can be an SM artist

Onew in SM academy

when i was in my second year of junior high, my music teacher suggested for me to go for an audition.

onew, for kool interview 2010

According to Onew’s ex-vocal coach from SM Academy, he asked the casting staffs to consider Onew into their company but they didn’t want him. it was In 2006 Onew was then given a chance to perform on SJ’s showcase with two other academy students, Lee Soo Man saw him there and casted him on the spot, and there’s where he began as SM trainee. He was 17 years old at that time.

Jinki’s daily schedule in high school (already SM-trainee at that time) Wake up at dawn to go swimming and walk to school. Listen well in class. After class (still in uniform), he goes to the training room. Majority of Jinki’s pre-debut pics were of him near SM Academy and of him in uniform. After training, he would go home and do 1000 – 4000x rope-jumping (skipping)… during exercise, to lose weight he woke up at 5 am and swim for an hour. Onew walked to school which takes approximately 1 hour each day.

Onew’s parents owned a small business – on radio 2010 onew mentioned his parents had owned a street side food stall in his trainee days.  And as he entered the academy (SM Academy) he would still do part-time jobs like delivering newspapers in order to not give his parents a burden. at the same time, he still managed study well in school. He had some friends whom he was close with and his grades were always in the top ranked for his class. He even ranked #2 in his last year of High School. Not only that he also became a vice-class president in high school.

Onew in high school was no more than studious but not too nerd student. Onew was generous also quite nice to his friends. On a field trip to the sea with his friends, he took a portion of meat from his family shop that could feed 10 people to share with his friends. even though that meant lesser earnings for his family that day.

The pics here at the side and above were probably taken during his last year in high school

Because of his parents were so busy working, sometimes Onew went home without proper food left, so to solve it for 2 months he spent eating a lot of ramen. but he always said that his mother’s food is always the best.

 When I was in middle school, I ate three servings everyday for two months

nylon 2010

And Onew is kind of person who likes forgiving

when i was young one of the neighbours bullied me all the time. the hyung pushed me and i fainted. however, i forgot the next day and played with him again, only to get hurt again.

onew, for nylon magazine 2010

Onew is kind of gentle person. During his trainee days, he can be considered as a close friend of hyeoyon of SNSD. In Flower boys generation variety show, she said that after they done practicing together, they would went home together. He would let Hyo sit first in the bus when there’s only one left seat and he would just stand beside her. Because their house was quite near,  he would accompany Hyo home and make sure she’s home safely. If there’s a chance they would buy snack while going home

According to one of his friends in Academy during Christmas day of 2005 Onew just slept in his house all day. He didn’t have a girlfriend at that time so Jinki’s vocal coach used to enjoy making lame jokes. Onew’s style of clothes when he was in Academy was often… School uniform. in winter he would wear warm clothes and in summer, t-shirts. Onew took good care of girl dongsaengs. He jokes around with the people he’s close with, and has positive personality. He does get shy with strangers but doesn’t ppl usually like that? He probably just tried to be a polite and not to be a burden to strangers.

Onew normally practice to master one song in a month and he used to recommend the songs he liked to friends, not only the songs he received from the vocal coach. He liked to reccomend Lee Yeonwoo’s music. also Onew used to sing Hello by lionel ritchi and used it as the song he would practice.

Onew also used to get jealous over his friend’s blog for the high visitor count because his would be low, and he used to grumble about it.  Onew talks a lot. He used to force himself to write long comments on his friend’s blogs so they can keep the conversation going. Onew is not an anti social person. Until now He still talks to his academy friends and not the type to go about making enemies

Onew confessed that during highschool he rarely bring his bag. that’s why he put his books and note mostly on his locker. and because of that he has to go to school way early so that he could do the homework before school. That’s why he  said that him going to school without his bag was the worst deviation he had done ever. To face the final test, Onew used to study before dawn on the exam day. He said studying that way makes him remember the lesson more than studying the night before the exam

During high school, before the final test Onew managed to be the 2nd top ranked in high school without having a special courses for it. He said he only managed to study hard by himself in library and read a lot there

His favorite object in high school was english. He said in order to be good on that subject he didn’t take the speaking english practice but reading the book text. beside english he learned a lot science and computer

The last time he learned math was during his first year of high school. It is because he didn’t have math lesson at the 2nd and 3rd year in his high school.  Onew was graduated in IT high school where only  boy school. He went to the IT major in his high school and graduated as the top 2nd. He spent his half time on the computer in his normal school week. He got a lot of IT certificates such as HWP (Hangul word processor), ITQ ( Information Technology Qualification) , WPS, Computer Active Usage, Excell, Powerpoint  and many more IT certificates

Onew used to do vocal exersice on the roof of SM building. At that time, Taemin (his fellow member in SHINee) who didn’t have enough of vocal training at that time learn singing from Onew. That was his first time Onew and Taemin met. Onew helped Taemin to do vocal exercise since then and because the practice room was so full of trainee, Onew and Taemin went to the roof and practice their vocal ability there. Onew liked to practice on the roof because at that time he could be considered as a new trainee (even though he was in SM academy long enough before trainee) so Onew felt awkward as newcomer and choose Rooftop as his personal practice place. He liked to sing while looking at the sky and clouds floating and thinking “can i send my voice up there?”

The picture above is assumed as the picture when onew was participating a school event

some onew selca during high school/ pre debut days

Onew hanging out with his high school friends

If you notice, Onew isn’t type of person who wanted to be in front. Instead of watching in front, he’s rather to just watch it from a far.. lol stalker much? keke~

Notice where’s Onew?

caps from I AM movie.. taken when Onew was having voice rehearsal

Onew with his high school friends taking picture together

Onew with his female friends

are believed as the pictures SM was about to use for their debut picture as SHINee
credit : as tagged, various sources

Leave a comment


  1. sonia

     /  November 20, 2012

    Woah…. During his teen era, Onew looks like my Chinese friend at school..I wonder If my friend become a singer.
    This article is so complete.. Permission to take it 😉

  2. shineemmfan

     /  October 24, 2013

    Reblogged this on The Kpop Crazies.

  3. Onew oppa is so hardworking until now , This is the reason why I like him 🙂

  4. Reblogged this on S.

  5. babibulma

     /  May 17, 2017

    Reblogged this on BABIBULMA.

  6. What a nice story:) its just simply shows his humility and being simple;) keep it up Onewssi:)


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