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Casey Cusano ’17

What's your story?

At the end of my first semester freshman year I knew something was up. My grades and my friends were awesome, but I just didn’t feel like I was getting everything I wanted out of my college experience. At that point I decided that I should consider transferring to a smaller school! My best friend and future roommate urged me to check out all Lake Forest College had to offer, and even though I toured campus on one of the coldest days of the winter, I absolutely loved it! However, as an incoming transfer student I was a little bit nervous about putting myself out there. I thought people wouldn’t want to get to know me because they already had their sophomore group of friends, but the exact opposite happened.

Coming to Orientation and meeting faculty, staff, and my peers was one of the most welcoming experiences I’ve ever had. I felt respected, valued, and appreciated because everyone genuinely wanted to get to know me! Furthermore, going through orientation made me want to be a Forester Guide (orientation group leaders) and get more involved on campus. Throughout my time here I have been a member of two Greek letter organizations, been a Student Ambassador, sat on Athletic Council, and planned student programing events through SPARK. I really enjoy being a member of these student organizations because the community on this campus is so welcoming and supportive. I would have never gone Greek, taken on leadership roles, or thought I could plan an event without out my friends cheering me on. Lake Forest has pushed me out of my shell and shown me that there’s a lot more to being a college student than sitting in the library for hours every day. Grades are obviously important but what you do with your time here and the legacy you choose to leave behind for the next batch of Foresters is significant as well.

The biggest thing I’ve learned during my experience transferring to Lake Forest College is the value of my peers, professors, and advisors. Sharing experiences through class discussions and office hours with faculty members has exposed me to ideas much different from my own. Collaborating outside of the classroom in organizations composed of students from all over the country and all over the world has been incredibly rewarding. I know that when I graduate I’ll be able to apply the skills I’ve learned at Lake Forest both in and outside of the classroom, which gives me the confidence I’ll need to “adult” in the real world. But, to be honest, I’m not completely ready to leave the Forest!