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The Woods Today: Anwyn Payonk ’21

Blog | 10.30.2021

As an anxious freshman, I had no idea what my journey at The Woods would entail. After getting moved in, saying goodbye to my parents, and trying to wipe away a few tears, I sat in a ballroom, full of anxious freshmen, in what felt like a crisis.

Flash forward four years, after graduating in May of 2021 with a degree in English, I was able to find a career doing what I wanted to — write. Just a year before my graduation, the world was faced with a life-altering global pandemic. This caused me to second-guess my goals of what I wanted to do after college.

Inspired to find a path, I contacted a connection from The Woods and began an internship at RJL Solutions, an Indiana government affairs and communications firm headquartered in Terre Haute. It is there I would find my niche among successful Woods alumni.

I was given the opportunities to thrive in a professional capacity and expand my skills beyond writing about 20th-century American literature, though I still enjoy it. It was also there I was able to find the career that I love. Saint Mother Theodore Guerin once said, “It is never too late to begin to do well.”

In my own time, guided by The Woods, the anxious wide-eyed freshmen found success after college.

So, here I am today, working at a company with Woods alumni; living with one of my best friends, another Woods alumna; visiting my family, some of which are Woods alumni; and making plans with friends; almost all of which are Woods alumni. Even out of college, I am surrounded by the Providence that has helped me succeed professionally, personally and mentally. College will challenge you, harder than many things ever will, especially during a global pandemic, but the spirit of The Woods will prevail and allow you to do well.


This story appeared in the 2021 fall edition of Onyx Anneau. View the full edition online.

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