In 2009, she and real-life boyfriend Kim Yong-jun (of boy band SG Wannabe) joined the second season of reality dating show We Got Married as the first real-life couple to be featured on the show. Later that year, Hwang rose to mainstream stardom when she appeared in the daily sitcom High Kick Through the Roof. Her character in the sitcom as a college student who was full of energetic vibes but sometimes clumsy, confident despite lacking money and opportunities, representing today's college students well, therefore stirred sentiments among many young adults. Regarding this breakout in her acting career, Hwang said: "You need to do what you enjoy doing as well as finding what is right for you. I realized my passion for acting during High Kick. You tend to do well when you get compliments and with director Kim Byung Wook encouraging me, I had fun acting. And because it was fun, I was able to achieve good results. "