Bailey Linton: My Cornerstone RetrospectiveBy Bailey Linton on May 8, 2019
In one week, my four-year-long journey as a student at Cornerstone University will come to an end. When I first came to CU, I was a wide-eyed 18-year-old with big hopes and dreams for what my future would be.
God had some crazy plans in store for me, things I could not even begin to comprehend. I was beginning a path of self-discovery, self-reflection and self-renewal.
Cornerstone is an incredibly special place to me, and college has been a time when I truly changed as a person. So, without further ado, here are some of the most important things that couldn't have happened to me, personally, anywhere else.
The Winter Jam Rejects
When I was a high school student in my sophomore year, my youth group and I decided that we wanted to go to a concert called WinterJam. If you've never heard of WinterJam, it's a huge traveling concert with some of the biggest names in Christian music and sells tickets at the low cost of $20.
However, we didn't jump on the pre-order train quickly enough. That misstep led us to drive several hours from Flint to Grand Rapids to stand in a line for several more hours hoping to get some of the last few door tickets.
Unfortunately, when we were only moments from the door, they sold out. It wasn't all bad; Sidewalk Prophets came outside to sing for us, and we all chanted about being the "WinterJam Rejects."
Still, we had come all that way for some Christian music, so we decided to look around for any places where a worship night was happening.
Before I knew it, we ended up at our youth pastor's alma mater—Cornerstone—during one of its Sunday night Evensongs.
The only word I can use to describe the night I had there is enchanting. Cornerstone didn't have the incredibly nice chapel they have now, so they made do in a gym for a time. Seeing so many people close to me in age all worshipping the Lord with such passion wasn’t something I had ever experienced up until that point.
I left that day knowing without a shadow of a doubt that Cornerstone was where I wanted to attend college. I believe it was divine providence that brought me to the campus that day. If there is a piece of advice to be taken from this, it's to make sure that you visit Cornerstone during your college search because I believe you’ll find something special about the heart of this university.
Meeting My Future
Of all the important milestones that happened in my time here, this one is by far the most important and impactful: I met my wife-to-be shortly after arriving at Cornerstone.
At the time, I wore a keychain as a necklace and it turned out to be the same as a keychain she had, which sparked a brief conversation.
I was terrified to speak to her after that because she was way out of my league. I was a kid who needed dental work done but thought I'd look worse with braces, so I figured there was no chance.
I guess that's where I was wrong.
We were able to connect on all sorts of things because we had the same base desire: to find someone who was just as crazy about living a life dedicated to God as we were. That is something I didn’t always have the pleasure of understanding in my past relationships.
It's been about three and a half years since Logan and I first met, and we are now getting married in just over a month.
Now, I'm not saying that you're guaranteed to meet the love of your life at Cornerstone but going to a Christian University allowed me to know that she was most likely someone chasing after God in her personal life, and it is a big reason that I am as happy as I am today.
Discovering What I Was Made For
When I enrolled at CU, I believed that I wanted to become a youth pastor. I knew because of some health issues I had as a kid that I wanted to give my life to God in the only way I knew how, and that was through ministry.
During my time taking core classes, I met Dr. Jeremy Osborn. It's kind of poetic that it was the first year at Cornerstone for both of us, one as a teacher and the other as a student.
Jeremy is a professor of communication here at Cornerstone, and through the way he structured classes and encouraged all of his students to do work to the best of their ability, I started to recognize my own passion for written and spoken communication.
After an incredibly difficult summer as a camp counselor, I learned that while I still had a heart for ministry and spreading the gospel, I did it best on the page. I don't know how different my life would have turned out if I hadn’t come across the guidance and acceptance of Dr. Jeremy Osborn.
I'd probably still be running head first into a field that God hadn't created me for.
Like my last point, I can't guarantee that God will speak directly into your major choice, but I can say that the staff here at CU are constantly looking for that spark in you and for ways to turn that spark into a flame. They truly, honestly care.
Giving Back to the Community
This last milestone is a bit broad, but it relates to the ways I believe I have left Cornerstone an at least slightly better place than when I came here.
I think that the good I have been able to be a part of is a direct result of the relationships and opportunities presented to me by the CU staff. They have worked hard to spur me on to greater things. Through the experience I have gained from my time working for Food Service, Admissions and the Marketing Office, I feel more readily prepared to take on the world.
However, if there is one special position that I want to thank for giving me the opportunity to pour myself into the community here at Cornerstone, it has to be my Director of Communications position for the Cornerstone University Student Offices (CUSO).
CUSO's main goal at its conception was to serve students by creating opportunities to cultivate connection and community. What CUSO became is so much more.
CUSO became the representation of the student body, at least in my opinion, and my job was to make sure everyone was informed about events and information pertaining to them.
I'm incredibly thankful for the relationships and opportunities that have been given to me through my positions on campus, and how they have developed my confidence.
That confidence has allowed me to create things like the Board Gamers Club and to boldly venture forth into the workforce. Cornerstone jobs create opportunities that can extend beyond the college itself, so I would encourage you to investigate work opportunities here.
Cornerstone is home to some of the best and most formative years of my life. I discovered so much about myself and it is all tied to the connections, community and experiences I had on this campus.
I truly believe that Cornerstone has walked alongside me in my quest to discover who I am and (I can't believe I'm saying this) helped me to build a life that matters.
If there is anything for you to take away from this post though, it's that I think Cornerstone can do the same for you. Please consider applying to hear more because, in the end, I know you won't regret it. I hope what I have been able to write has helped you realize what is so special about Cornerstone and the adventures that await you if you choose to apply.