Meet Annabel Chung, ECL and Chemistry double major and Fulbright award winner!

As a freshman, Annabel was torn between two majors, English and Chemistry. While she initially chose chemistry, “thinking that I could live without English,” she soon felt that something was missing. “I wasn’t happy with how I was using my time at UNC” she reflects, “I regretted that as a freshman I had thought I could only choose one thing I love at the expense of the other.” Thankfully, she didn’t have to pick just one! “Before I regretted any further I decided to pursue both chemistry and English (and Japanese, but that’s another story), and I’m so glad I did.” 

Doubling up allowed Annabel not only to pursue two passions, but also to challenge herself and broaden her horizons. “While I enjoyed my chemistry courses,” she explains, “I deeply desired a classroom that would allow me more freedom to choose the areas I wanted to expand my knowledge in—English gave me that.” She especially enjoyed challenging herself with creative writing courses, “They became some of my favorite courses at UNC.” While Chemistry and English may seem disparate, Annabel loved the combo, saying, “Ultimately, studying two fields that rarely intersect greatly expanded my mind in a balanced manner.”

Annabel recently accepted a Fulbright award to teach English in Korea. 

Annabel’s success story is one of learning self confidence. While she knew she wanted to teach English abroad, she wasn’t originally planning to apply to the Fulbright. That is, until a friend asked her why she wasn’t applying. “I didn’t realize until she had asked that I had been expecting failure even before starting, that I had convinced myself to believe Fulbright was outside of my reach,” Annabel explains. In fact, she almost turned the Fulbright down! “Thankfully,” she says “I had many friends and teachers around who helped me see past my worries and evaluate the situation rationally.”

“Don’t limit yourself,” Annabel advises. “If you think you might like something, try it out… Take a chance on yourself. And keep wise people close to your side who will keep you sane and true.”

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