Surrey’s Woojin Lim has been accepted to Harvard University. (Photo: Ethan Reyes)

Education

Surrey student stoked for studying at Harvard

Fraser Heights Secondary’s Woojin Lim says choosing Harvard over Yale was a tough decision

By Ethan Reyes, Now-Leader contributor

SURREY — The halls of Surrey’s Fraser Heights Secondary, soon to shutter for the summer, brim with the restless energy of anticipation. Groups of students mutter excitedly about their plans for the next two months, briskly making for the school’s exits as if to hasten the arrival of summer break.

While some of his classmates are dreaming of summer, Woojin Lim is looking beyond it. In March 2018, Lim was accepted to Harvard University, following in a tradition of Fraser Heights Secondary graduates bound for Ivy League universities.

The 18-year-old quotes Yuval Noah Harari and Betrand Russell offhand, his ever-present smile and carefree demeanour belying a comprehensive understanding of philosophy and realpolitik he will need to stay abreast at one of the world’s most prestigious and competitive universities.

Lim said he initially hoped to study at Yale University, where he was also accepted, but decided to apply to other universities which could offer greater financial assistance.

“That was one of the most difficult decisions I’ve had to make,” Lim said about choosing which school to attend.

By studying at Harvard University, specializing in social studies and comparative literature, Lim said he was opening himself up to unique experiences and environments he wouldn’t find elsewhere.

“I wanted to go out to the big pond and see what life is like. As much as I love B.C., I definitely want to escape ‘Raincouver’ for a little while,” he said, grinning widely.

Aiming to become a human rights lawyer, Lim has written extensively on the subject of human rights. His essay, The Refugee Crisis, Burden-Sharing and Moral Obligations, earned him first-place honours in the 2018 HART Prize for Human Rights competition.

When asked about the sum of human suffering in general and the ongoing global refugee crisis in particular, Lim’s smile evaporates.

“If a refugee is travelling across the Mediterranean and dies because of unsafe passage, those things really break my heart and do affect me,” he said. “The fact is, there is so much suffering in the world and that suffering is preventable.”

Mid-explanation of the United Nations’ Declaration of Human rights, a janitor lets us know the school is closed. We have to leave.

Lim asks if he can explain how he fell in love with philosophy before heading home.

“I think philosophy is unique from any other subject area like math or science in that it is so cool. Oftentimes, not knowing the answer is the answer in that there is no one specific truth: knowing that there might not be an answer and having to accept that reality.”



edit@surreynowleader.com

Like us on Facebook Follow us on Instagram and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Former Surrey cop Dario Devic gets four-month ‘jail sentence to be served in the community’

Former RCMP officer will be under house arrest for two months after Creep Catchers bust in Surrey

Surrey Eagles add former NHLer Teubert to staff

White Rock native will join BC Hockey League team in player-development role

New interchange, work on Alex Fraser to make ‘easier commutes’ for Delta, province says

Bridge construction will restart next week, while the Highway 91 interchange was finished in August

Seniors sing, dance and raise money in Surrey to benefit much younger performers

The Vaudevillians plan annual ‘bursary shows’ at Surrey Arts Centre

Surrey-based podcast focuses on Canadian true crime

Corus Entertainment’s Curiouscast picks up Dark Poutine

Singer k.d. lang receives Alberta’s highest honour

Celebrated singer-songwriter k.d. lang received the Alberta Order of Excellence in Edmonton

Bernardo-like sexual deviancy poorly understood, expert says

What exactly causes such deviance is not known but some evidence exists of physical brain damage to the front part of the brain

Disney on Ice returns to Vancouver with Moana in starring role

Eight shows at Pacific Coliseum in late November

B.C. high school teacher faces sexual assault charges

A Mt. Boucherie teacher has been charged with child luring, sexual exploitation and sexual assault.

Fashion Fridays: You can never have enough shoes

Kim XO, lets you know the best online shopping tips during Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

5 races to watch in B.C.’s municipal elections this Saturday

This year’s election results across more than 160 cities in B.C. will start pouring in after polls close Saturday at 8 p.m.

Annual pace of inflation slows to 2.2 per cent in September: Statistics Canada

Statistics Canada said Friday the consumer price index in September was up 2.2 per cent from a year ago compared with a year-over-year increase of 2.8 per cent in August

Dog deaths in Lower Mainland may be tied to suspected mushroom poisoning: RCMP

Police have received reports in the last month about several dogs becoming ill after visiting a park in North Vancouver

5 to start your day

Man killed in shooting at Abbotsford bank, ex-Surrey cop to appear in court after Creep Catchers sting and more

Most Read