Fall is the time of year when Bellarmine seniors dread the college application process and worry about where they will be attending the following year. As seniors rush toward their next classes, there appears to be one student taking his time and enjoying his surroundings. He is Woojin Shin, and unlike others, he already knows where he will be attending college.
A few weeks ago, Woojin Shin ‘17 committed to Swarthmore for soccer, and in a special interview with The Bell, he delineated how he came to be in his position. “Around summer of junior year, one of my old coaches recommended Swarthmore and he reached out to the assistant coach there,” Woojin said. Events progressed from there as Woojin continued to converse with Eric Wagner – Swarthmore’s Men’s Soccer Head Coach – about the possibility of playing on his team. His efforts finally paid off and in the end he happily described, “Talking with the head coach, I was excited to play under him and he was also really excited with me. I can’t wait to play under him.”
Despite popular belief, Woojin’s path to success did not just involve innate athletic talent, but also serious determination off the field and strong family support. He expressed his gratitude to his family by saying that “they always drove me to practice and had an open mind.” He elaborated that his family never coerced him into choosing a specific college, something that he states many parents do to their children.
Now, Woojin continues to play for his U.S Development Academy team in order to enhance his skills and prepare for the even more competitive Centennial Conference that Swarthmore participates in. His club team, De Anza Force U-17/18, plays at the highest tier of the U.S youth soccer system. They frequently enter showcases and compete against a long list of world-class youth academies including the LA Galaxy and Seattle Sounders.
With just a 12% regular decision acceptance rate according to U.S News and World Report, Swarthmore reputes itself as one of the most elite and academically challenging institutions. Woojin, however, has all the confidence that he will do well in school. When asked why he chose Swarthmore over the likes of New York University, Claremont Mckenna, and Washington & Lee, Woojin said, “I chose Swarthmore because of the environment. The school size is really small so everyone knows each other which makes it a close-knit community and Philadelphia is an awesome city to be in.”
While Woojin will become a Garnet very soon, his legacy in soccer continues in the Bellarmine community through his brother Woovin Shin ‘19. Woovin also plays for De Anza Force, but unfortunately is not permitted to participate in high school soccer due to USSDA academy regulations. When asked about his brother, Woojin said, “In my opinion, he is actually better than me and I have high hopes and expectations for him to go play NCAA Division 1 soccer.”
As he walks to his next class, Woojin shares no worries for the moment. He is very confident for his big future in college soccer and he cannot wait to literally kick off freshman year at the East Coast liberal arts school. He is someone to keep an eye out for and all the students and teachers who know him will not be surprised to see him on the highlight reels. We congratulate Woojin on his athletic achievements and wish him the best of luck for his new exciting journey.