Did you struggle to balance school, socializing, and sleep when you were younger? Still having trouble now? These 7 idols can’t relate. They had to handle all that and still managed to make their K-Pop debuts during their middle school years. Suddenly we’re questioning all the life choices we made in our teenage years!
1. Wonyoung (IZ*ONE)
The first-place winner of Produce 48 and IZ*ONE’s center, Wonyoung debuted just two months after her 14th birthday.
But despite her young age, she’s impressively tall. Standing at 170cm and possibly still growing, Wonyoung is often known by the nickname “Giant Baby”.
Many esteemed vocalists take years to reach their peak, but IU’s angelic voice has been going strong since she debuted in 2008 at the age of 15.
The most impressive part? IU only decided she wanted to be a singer when she was 14 after receiving a great ovation when she sang at a school sports competition.
3. Taemin (SHINee)
SHINee’s maknae Taemin debuted in his junior year of middle school. It was 2008, and Taemin was just 14 years old.
It’s fitting that the group’s debut song, “Replay”, was called “Noona is So Pretty” in Korean, since many SHINee fans would’ve been noonas to Taemin.
4. Somi (I.O.I)
I.O.I debuted in May 2016. At the time, lead dancer and lead vocalist Somi was just 15 years old. Although she was the group’s maknae, she also managed to rank #1 on Produce 101—just like Wonyoung.
Even when Somi redebuted as a soloist in 2019, she was still only 18 years of age.
5. Krystal (f(x))
Krystal debuted with f(x) when she was 14 years old, just a few weeks away from turning 15.
Although she was young, Krystal was probably eager to debut after watching her sister Jessica (a former Girls’ Generation member) in the spotlight.
6. Sohee (Wonder Girls)
Sohee, the main dancer of Wonder Girls, debuted in middle school at the age of 15. Her baby-faced appearance quickly earned her the nickname “Dumpling Sohee” with the public.
When she debuted in early 2007, middle school-aged idols were still a rarity, so Sohee drew a lot of attention.
7. Dahyun (Rocket Punch)
Debuting at the tender age of 14, Dahyun was also in middle school when Rocket Punch debuted.
What’s really impressive is that in her few short years, she’s managed to learn Chinese and basic English alongside training hard for stardom.