Interviewed by : Na Hyun Kim &
David Chun
Photographed by : Daniel Lee &
Lukey Moon

Location : Caffeine Fix

Our SooJung member of the month for June is none other than the young wunderkind — Robin Oh. Fresh out of Bronx Science High School, the 18-year-old super athlete is getting ready to head off to the Naval Academy in a few weeks. We wanted to hear all about the backstory of our young brother’s decision and get to know him some more. Prepare to get inspired.

Nana: What made you want to go to the Naval Academy?

Robin: I mainly applied for the education because it has a really big name. You get a lot of opportunities. When you graduate, Naval will allow you to get a job anywhere that you want because it’s really up there. And I would have a lot of opportunities to travel.

Nana: Where do you want to travel to?

Robin: Probably Australia.

David: So, why the Navy? Why military?

Robin: In the beginning, when my dad first brought it up, he was like “You should apply to Naval Academy.” I went there for the summer last year, stayed there for a week and got to experience what life is like there. Once I got there, I started to realize like this is actually a really good school. It’s actually a lot of fun because you get to work out, I get brolic. There’s a lot of sports there and I think that’s like my kind of environment. After I spent the week there, I realized I really want to go there. I like the environment there. They have a great sense of respect.

David: That's in Cali right?

Robin: No, it’s in Maryland. I applied but I didn’t think I was going to get in because it has a really low acceptance rate. I just did it to see if I could get in. I applied to all of the other normal schools too.

Nana: When do you go?

Robin: June 29th.

Nana: What’s the preparation for that? What do you have to do before you go?

Robin: They sent me like a workout plan but I don’t follow it.

David: So, you’re actually in the Navy when you go to Naval Academy?

Robin: No, so it’s four years of school. It’s an actual campus in Maryland. And then, after you finish the four years, you graduate as an officer. Then you serve in the Navy for five years. It’s a requirement. So basically, as soon as I start school, I belong to the government.

David: And that’s something you wanted to do?

Robin: Yeah. I mean, I’m willing to serve and stuff. It’ll be chill because I’ll be travelling a lot and I’ll see a lot of stuff. If I could, I would avoid it. But it’s alright because I’m getting paid a lot of money so it’s good. Because I would be in a high position in the Navy.


David: So, you said you like working out, sports and stuff  — that’s your scenery? That’s where you belong? What do you play now?

Robin: I’ve been playing tennis for a lot of my life. But during school, I play lacrosse and gymnastics.

David: So, talk about gymnastics. How did that happen?

Robin: Honestly, that was completely random. I joined senior year. My friend was going to try out and he was like “I don’t wanna be lonely, so come try out with me.” I was like “Whatever, I'll just go for the tryouts.” After I went, I realized “Woah I’m pretty good at this.” So I got into the team and ended up doing pretty good.

David: That’s awesome, man.
So what part of gymnastics is your favorite?

Robin: My coach made me do every activity. I’m not trying to brag but I got pretty good, so he made me do like every event.

David: What did you thrive in the most?

Robin: Probably high bar. It’s basically one metal bar high in the air. Twirls and stuff. Flips. Second was the rings. You know the rings that are hanging? I’d do that because it makes me look brolic [everyone laughs]. Really high in the air and stuff.

David: Did you ever think you could go to the Olympics? Was it ever that serious?

Robin: Um, nah. I wasn’t that serious. But I feel like if I did train more, maybe. But if you do too much gymnastics, your ligaments start getting messed up.

Nana: You’re really active, but which activity do you enjoy the most?

Robin: Biking. I did biking for most of my life. Mountain biking, road biking. That’s my thing.

David: Would you go on a Tour de France if you could?

Robin: I wish, but that’s way too much work. I can’t bike that many miles.

David: What’s the furthest you’ve — have you ever done like a cross country or long distance?

Robin: The furthest I’ve biked is from my house in Whitestone to Manhattan to Brooklyn, back to Manhattan, and back to my house. I was with my friends. We went to IKEA in Brooklyn to get meatballs.

Nana: I'd do the same. What’s the one food you can’t live without, like you won’t get sick of it?

Robin: Chipotle.

Nana: You’re so basic.

Robin: I can eat Chipotle for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. It’s pretty good.

David: Man, what is up with you guys and Chipotle?

Robin: I don’t know, it’s not too strong. It’s a solid flavor, you know? And you can always switch it up with the different sauces, you know?

Nana: How would you describe your SooJung journey? How did you become a part of the church?

Robin: I’ve been to this church ever since I was born. I was in Sunday School when Johnny was there. Yeah, I go way back. I never left [laughs].

Nana: What’s your favorite memory at Crystal?

Robin: The funniest one is probably way too inappropriate. I was in the shower and then all the guys came in. They took all my clothes and ran out. Someone sprayed me with bug spray while I was in the shower. It was crazy. I ran out naked. Butt naked. I was like “Yo! Where’s my clothes!” I ran outside, tried looking for my clothes, came back in. I started chasing people naked.

Nana: You had a towel right?

Robin: Nooo. I was just covering everything with my hands. [David laughs] They took everything!

Nana: That’s a great memory.

Robin: Thank you.

Nana: What’s your pet peeve?

Robin: I don’t think I have a pet peeve.

Nana: Get out of here. Like if someone steps on your fresh new kicks?

Robin: Ohhh, okay that does get me pretty mad. Yeah, if someone did that, I would get pretty upset.

I also don't like it when someone pinches my shirt. When someone pinches your shirt it leaves like a mark. It looks like you have another nipple. I hate that.

David: Your favorite color and describe that color to a blind person.

Robin: Blue. It’s soft, but it’s also cool to touch. It could lift the hairs on your back or it could also put you to sleep.

Nana: What kind of grandpa would you be?

Robin: I’d be like a athletic grandpa who’s also cool with the kids. If you get out of hand, I’d slap you — as a joke, not seriously. I’d be authoritative, but not authoritarian, you know? 

So I wouldn’t enforce the rules, but I’d give them an option, you know? You either do this or do that. I’d let them deal with the consequences.

David: You’d say you are saved right?

Robin: Yeah.

David: What was that moment like?

Robin: That was probably way back when I was still in Youth Group. No, when I was still in Sunday school. I went to a YG retreat because of my brother. It was a pretty intense night, the last night. This was back when it was crazy when everyone was crying and sobbing. I remember we were all in a circle. And I remember saying this simple prayer because some some girls needed prayer or something. We were stomping on the ground while saying “Demons be gone." Some crazy stuff. And I knew that God was the reason why we were standing in a circle, stomping, and screaming in Jesus’ name. It was really a crazy moment.

David: Describe your life using movie titles.

Robin: Shoot. Can you guys name some movies for me? 

Nana: The Revenant. Mean Girls. [Everyone laughs] 

Robin: Nah, nah. Uh, The Notebook?

Nana: Really? Right Now?

Robin: No no, I’m playing. Probably Kingsmen? Fighting crime and stuff… a movie with a lot of studying? Um, Goodwill Hunting. I think I’m pretty smart but I try not to like go out and show everyone, “Oh I’m so smart, let me do this for you.” I just study by myself. You know, keep it on the low. But when I start to rise, that’s when people start noticing, you know? Grind on the low. Once you start popping, then everyone be all up on you. I’ll be like “Nah, you weren’t there for me when I was on the low.”

Nana: Who do you most admire?

Robin: I forgot his name. Give me like five seconds [searches on phone]. Jonas Salk.

David: Who’s that?

Robin: I wrote all my college essays about him. He’s the guy that found the cure to polio. He went to Queens College and did seven years of research. There was a big epidemic in the United States and the disease was spreading and he didn’t patent it, so it was free for everyone to use. He could have made millions of dollars but he decided not to, for the better good of the United States. And that was an inspiration to me because he came from humble beginnings, coming from Queens College. Most people think you need to go to Columbia or some big grad school to make an impact. But he donated most of his research for the better good.

Nana: How would you follow in his footsteps?

Robin: Thinking for the greater good of people before yourself. That’s the kind of sacrificial life I’m trying to live.

Nana: That’s so inspiring. 
What about him did you write in your college essays?

Robin: I think it was his selflessness, you know? If he patented his cure to polio then he could of made billions of dollars, but he decided not to.

David: Is that something you see yourself doing or is it one of your goals to achieve something like that?

Robin: Not to find a cure to polio but definitely something like… “Man Dies in War, Sacrificing Life for Others.” Maybe I can do that.



Na Hyun Kim, a.k.a. Nana, is sort of a writer and very much a watermelon junkie. Make her day by dropping comments about how ‘Brooklyn’ she looks. Legally, her first name is ‘Na’ and middle name ‘Hyun’, so she’s pretty irked whenever she sees ‘Ms. Na Kim’ on her boarding ticket.