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Around Cornerstone: News

Ilya Layton ('17) Perseveres Through Medical Challenges to Excel in College

From Head of School Jeanne Borders:

Cindy Gurniewicz and I were invited to spend two days at Gordon College, near Boston, Massachusetts, at a conference for a small group of Christian school administrators and admissions personnel. While it was rewarding and encouraging to hear from a former president of Disney Epcot, as well as a variety of other prestigious speakers, the highlight of our trip was the time we were given to meet with one of our outstanding alumni who is attending Gordon.

Most of you know or are familiar with Ilya Layton, a 2017 graduate of Cornerstone, through several blogs and updates we gave you on his medical challenges. You can also click here to read an article about his medical journey that was published by the Marietta Daily Journal.

We can tell you from spending some time with him that he is loving his sophomore year and is thriving at college. We asked him to write a few words about his college experience so we could share with you.


My Experience at Gordon So Far

Written by Ilya Layton (‘17)

I went to Cornerstone for first through 12th grades. I never went anywhere else or even thought I would ever go to college outside the state of Georgia. However, as we often find out, God had other intentions for my life, and here I am! 

A bit about Gordon (since I work in the admissions office, I guess I should say a bit about the school): It is located on what is referred to as the North Shore, which is the area encompassing the 25 to 30 miles northeast of downtown Boston, Massachusetts. It is a private, Christian, liberal arts school, with current on-campus enrollment at about 1,600 students. The most popular majors at Gordon are biology, art, political science, and (my obvious favorite, as it’s my favorite), psychology. 

As for my personal life, my dad and I have our official residence in Manchester, New Hampshire, which is about 45 minutes away from Gordon and an hour and a half from Boston, pending the traffic isn’t terrible (which it usually is)!

I have found that college life takes a bit of getting adjusted to. Some people move onto campus, make friends within the first day of orientation, and stick with their first declared major all four years of their undergraduate education. However, for indecisive introverts like myself, things went a bit differently. I went into college declaring my major in biology. That lasted all of three weeks, before I met with my advisor and told her this wasn’t going to work out for all four years! I then decided to declare psychology as my major (shout out to Mrs. Cosgrove!) and have stuck with it since. As for social life, it literally took me a full semester before I had a group of friends that I hung out with regularly. 

My message for seniors who will be graduating in 2019 and moving onward to college: No matter how antisocial/introverted you are, you will make friends!!! I am very introverted (as anyone who knows me will tell you) and go to a college with only 1,600 students on the entire campus. If I can make friends within a semester, so can you!