Being a K-Pop idol is the dream of many boys and girls around the world. Based on recent years, idols seem to be debuting younger and younger. TREASURE‘s Junghwan, for example, was born in 2005, making him just 16 years old.

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TREASURE’s maknae Junghwan | TREASURE/YouTube

Given this trend, what do idol trainers think about seemingly “old” people attempting to audition for K-Pop companies? AYO invited seasoned teachers to their “Comment Defenders” series to reveal their opinions.

Former idol Lee Yoon Ji from Playback is the principal of idol training school Making Academy while her interview partner Kim Se Yeon trained aspirants through one-on-one vocal lessons for 10 years and counting. Together, they answered questions such as: “I want to go auditioning after my exam. Is it too late?”

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Kim Se Yeon (Left) and Lee Yoonji (Right) | AYO

As the netizen was likely a high school or college student, Lee Yoon Ji was slightly skeptical. It’s one thing for someone to debut in their twenties, but it’s another to only begin training at that age.

To debut as a JYP girl group member, it might be a bit difficult.

— Lee Yoonji

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Yeji is ITZY’s oldest member at 20 years old | @itzy.all.in.us/Instagram

Though big agencies are unlikely to accept non-teenagers, smaller ones may take the chance.

But if you show something you’re good at, you can be a girl group member in other agencies.

— Lee Yoonji

Kim Se Yeon agreed that their best bet is to join lesser known K-Pop companies as they may debut their groups faster and with less training: “Another way is to go to a smaller company. You can debut right away in those companies.”

She urged the audience to be less critical of their age. After all, their capabilities are more important than how old they are at the time.

A lot of people think that ‘I won’t make it because I’m old.’ And in my class, middle school and high school students say the same thing. But age is something I can’t control and everyone worries about their age. So when I ask them, ‘Are you perfect except for your age?’ they say no.

— Kim Se Yeon

The professional idol trainers ended with inspirational advice to take the chances presented to them no matter what worries they have.

Age is just a number but they’re worrying too much about their age. Then you should try harder. Whether you’re old or not, if you’re attractive, you might enter a big agency. And if you don’t do auditions because you’re scared, the passing rate is 0.00%

— Kim Se Yeon

Check out the full video below!