Time to get to know more about T-ara's HyoMin as she reminisce her college days at  Sungkyunkwan University.

Check out her interview from SKKU below.

All-Rounded Entertainer, Her.

Korea’s representative girl group, T-ARA, who had left so many hit songs like “I Go Crazy Because Of You”, Bo Peep Bo Peep”, and “Roly Poly”. Amongst those girls who have it all from looks to talents, there is a member who studies in SKK University, that is Hyomin!

She, who is said to have had unique talents in art since she was young! Under the influence of having both of her parents majored in art, she has grown so interested in art, she says she has dreamt of enrolling in an art high school.

However, she was torn having had realized she lacks the art skills to enroll in an art high school. Therefore, she has found her new path that is ‘acting’! After she knew that the art high school she was applied in has a theatre department, she persuaded her parents and registered in an acting academy. She said that although her family were greatly worried about her new challenge at first, they came to acknowledge her passion shortly after.

"I was extremely nervous when I first went to the acting academy. I think I was feeling both thrilled and terrified at this new experiment. But I remember how I started this path after I reaffirmed my own resolution, by which I hardly convinced my parents and started going to this school.”

However, due to the keen competition, she failed to enroll in the school she wanted, and therefore enrolled in a regular high school, but she still was never let down. As she was going to the acting academy and studying acting, her personality changed to an enthusiastic and extroverted personality rather than an introverted one, and thanks to that she was able to open up and get to know more people in the field she was interested in. Anyhow, she started a new life goal of becoming a ‘musical actress’.

For that life goal, she had put in many efforts in singing, dancing, and acting, she lived fiercely not to repeat the same failure again. Thanks to that, she received various offers from many different agencies. Of course, it wasn’t that her efforts were recognized by everyone. She has underwent great frustration and skepticism when she failed the university aptitude test which she rejected all of these different offers in order to prepare for. However, she couldn’t just give up on her dreams and passions, she tried auditioning again and was finally accepted after her 3rd time. She enrolled in the university she wanted in last minute and achieved her goal. T-ara Hyomin whose sense of accomplishment is said to have reached the skies back then. Based on this, she said she worked even harder in order to reach higher.

And this is how she started preparing for her new life as a celebrity and ended up being part of a popular group; however, it wasn’t so easy from the start. She didn’t adapt so easily to the trainee life in which she used to practice from early morning to midnight everyday without a break. There were many times where she would get tired due to all of this hard work and secretly run away, and what’s more is that she would unite with other trainees and rebel because the training program during the early trainee stages wasn’t satisfactory.

Above all, she confessed that it was tough as the gap between her ‘musical actress’ dream that she had since young and being in an idol girl group is vast. However, she didn’t give up and did her best until the end as she kept reminding herself that “Chances will come to me who is trying.” Therefore, she ended up debuting in the entertainment industry after her trainee life that lasted for 4 years ended. Up until then, her source of strength was her family and her trainee colleagues whom she lived with and shared her joy with.

"So many entertainers recall their trainee period as an extremely tough period, right? Although It was tiring physically too, it was an extremely emotionally tiring period. I, too, held onto my dream goals, but if it wasn’t for my family all the good friends around me it would’ve been way tougher for me. Especially the friends who shared the same dream and worked hard with me, they were a great help in overcoming such difficult time. We fail together, comfort each other…. It’s important to have the resolution to overcome tough times, but I think the feeling of reliance is also important. I am sincerely thankful to my family and friends who have been a great support for me."

After debuting in the entertainment industry like this, T-ara couldn’t stand out greatly during their rookie days; however, they attracted the public’s attention and succeeded after repeatedly showing original attempts and fresh concepts. (Hyomin) confessed while smiling that they were of an old age amongst girl groups during their debut time. However, the members said that despite that, they have put in great efforts such of enthusiastically attempting new things, personally researching them, and whatnot. In Bo Peep Bo Peep’s case, they said they were embarrassed when they first heard about it, but they enthusiastically proceeded with it with the mindset to enjoy it, and thanks to that they gained the honour of winning their first no.1 since debut. Also, they said that they suffered in order to create each’s own colour, such that during T-ara’s best hit track, Roly Poly, Hyomin personally designed her stage outfit.

Moreover, Hyomin ran once again towards her dream of being an actress. Her passion didn’t solely stop at music industry, she gained recognition for her acting skills which she worked for for a long time and started starring in dramas and movies. Drama GyeBaek, My Girlfriend is a Gumiho, etc. She, who showed her increased popularity through popular dramas, has starred in a Japanese movie as the lead this year.

Regarding having achieved the goal she had since young, she said she was happy and that this is just the start. It might be because of a long-time eagerness, but she said that when she thinks of the dramas and movies she starred in she gets mixed feelings. She said that although she has felt burdened in filming sites, she has come to discover the good sides of an actress’s job through this. She, who felt more passionate (about acting) than burdensome, said she wants to try acting in a short or an independent movie one time, and that she wants to develop more as an actress.

T-ara Hyomin who wants to live an ardent life where she gets to always challenge herself with new things. She, who is talented in many different fields and passionately works hard, is still a girl with many dreams. T-ARA is gaining hot popularity not only locally, but also overseas. At last, we have asked her about her opinion regarding T-ara’s secret to having gained all of this popularity and their goals.

"I think I was lucky. Just in time we debuted, the girl group craze started, and we were able to ride on the hallyu wave and meet international fans. We learned so many things while promoting, and are very thankful to our fans. In the future too, we want to promote more diligently under T-ARA’s name, be of help to our hoobaes, never forget fans’ love, and repay it through better songs and performances. That is our goal."

SKK University and T-ARA's Hyomin.

Hyomin, who enrolled in SKK University’s Art and Theatre Department before debut is very proud regarding her alma mater. She said that SKK University is a great asset to her as it is her future pride, and at the same time is the first accomplishment she achieved herself.

"The fact that this is the result I received after genuinely working for it by myself makes me feel a great sense of accomplishment and makes me proud. It made my parents very happy, and gave me huge faith (in myself). Just like other students, there are many times where just the fact that I attend SKK University is a source of strength to me."

Although her university student life and trainee life were going side-by-side, she said she could never give up on either of them. Even in the midst of her tight schedules everyday, her attachment to her university was so strong that she would ask to be excused at her agency just to attend university regularly. Thanks to that, she was able to enjoy every bit of her university life while at the same time digesting her schedule and tight routine as a trainee. ‘From orientations to MTs to even meetings’, Hyomin who was happy to have enjoyed it all in her university life. When she was asked what university life memory remains to her the most she smiled and answered that ‘It’s hard to just pick one’. After she finished choosing, she finally said it was the ‘festival performance’.

"The memory of when we performed the musical ‘Greece’ during the University’s festival is so vivid. It was my first experience of standing on stage and communicating with the audience. It was a gala-show themed performance that was cut down to 25 minutes, but it was a very very special experience. Expressing myself on stage, and then expressing myself again with the audience, feeling such moments made me feel once again how cool my dream of being an actress that I had since young is. We recorded that performance in video, I gain strength when I sometimes look back to it."

Of course, her university life wasn’t just something she spent joyfully. Her greed in learning was no less than others’, and she never neglected her studying. What class would she recommend? Without hesitation, she picked the ‘Speech And Debate’ class. She said that at first she felt a huge burden speaking in front of many people, but through this class she overcame her fears a lot and was able to gain self-confidence.

She also picked another class that remained in her memory that is the Video Scenario Filming class. She said it was a short class she took as a major course, but producing movies along with friends who all have the passion and ambition was extremely fun. She said that they had so many different experiences such as filming all night long, coordinating various opinions during the producing and editing stage, and so on, which all was of a great help for her at filming locations in real life. She also said that above all, it was a class in which she was able to learn what to do when she’s having a hard time and what to do when others are having a hard time, which made her feel great, and hence it’s a class that remains in her memory for a long time.

*This interview was done months ago) Recently she has wrapped up her overseas activities which lasted for a long time, and is now preparing to meet again with her local fans through a solo album. Although she is recently on a hiatus from her continuously busy schedule, she wants to return to university for a while and do university activities. She said if she ever gets to return to school, she wants to try getting a scholarship. “Wouldn’t it be possible if I focus only on school without overlapping with my celebrity life…” She said while showing a bashful smile. At last, we asked her about what would she like to say to SKK University’s alumni and enrolled students.

"There are so many times where I’d miss university life even amidst my busy schedule. To me, all of the moments I spent attending school have remained to me as precious memories. They also remain as a source of strength for me. I think of it as a school that has given me so many good things. I hope that you all would enjoy your university life, gain good ties and good experiences before you leave. I am always thankful."

Hoobae asks, Sunbae answers.
(Hyomin: Art and Theatre Department, Class 6081)

Q.Who’s the person you respect the most?
Hyomin: I think it’s the best school to gain what I want. Also, I trusted this school as it was one that filled me with the self-confidence I needed. I remember how extremely happy I was when my parents told me I enrolled in this university. I actually think you’d know more about this than I do. (Laughs) *Note: There may have been an error in the publication as Hyomin's answer doesn't match the question.*

Q.What was the happiest moment for you after you debuted?

Hyomin: Although the moment where we had our first no.1 win with Bo Peep Bo Peep remains in my memory, I still think it was more remarkable when we had our first fan-club inauguration ceremony. 3 years after our debut, we held our fan-club inauguration ceremony at Kyunghee University, the moment where we got to personally meet with the fans who trusted us and supported us was the happiest moment.

Q.Is there anything you’d want to do if you return to school?
Hyomin: There’s so many that it’s hard for me to say everything. (Laughs) This is greedy, but, just like when I used to attend university before, I want to try doing everything in a common university life. Going to classes with my friends, eating at the cafeteria, going to MT’s. Looking back, the trivial enjoyments I gained from everyday life where all great enjoyments. Of course, meeting with cool people would be fun too, but that’s got to be difficult, right? (Laughs).

Q.Are you always treasuring your ‘Musical Actress’ dream?
Hyomin: I actually still have my old days’ dreams, but I think I should be careful talking about it. Because the ‘musical’ genre is a performance field that needs a tremendous depth to it. It’s a job where you have to work with many people for 3 months, I don’t think it’s something I can do just with my greed alone. Of course, It hasn’t changed that if I get a really good opportunity and get the circumstances that enable me to immerse myself into it, then I’d definitely want to try and challenge myself with it.

Sungkyunkwan University