Categories: Uncategorized

20 Signs You Go To Northern Illinois University

1. You hate geese.

For anyone who goes to Northern Illinois University, if there’s any real threat, it’s the geese that post-up on the corner of every sidewalk during the fall and spring. Winter is bittersweet because it’s so cold but at least there aren’t any geese that hiss at you as you try to get to class. Let’s not forget the school’s solution in moving the geese all to the lagoon by Stevenson Residence Hall.

2. You probably live an hour from home.

While there are a handful of people that do live out of state or multiple hours from home, a majority of the students that attend NIU are from Chicago or suburbs surrounding Chicago. Two hours from home is the max I’ve heard of before it jumps to 4 hours. It’s likely 5 or more people you went to high school with attend Northern Illinois University.

3. You leave an hour early for class in order to get a crappy parking spot.

As NIU grows, the school sees no reason to add more parking. Nowadays, so many kids come to school with cars. I’ve left early for class in order to get a parking spot, only having to park by the Alumni Center which is a good 5-10 minute walk from Dusable.

4. At some point in your time as a student, you’ve owned an NIU hoodie that has TCF Bank on it.

We all remember orientation when TCF Bank in the Holmes Student Center told us to sign up for a card and get a free sweatshirt. I was even told we didn’t have to activate the card or anything. Everyone knows the red hoodie with the huskies symbol and “TCF Bank” written underneath. Some people have dubbed it as part of the “Freshman Starter Kit.”

5. At least one person at all times is FaceTiming on the Huskie Bus.

There’s really not much to elaborate on this except the fact that it’s 100% the truth.

6. You think going to Walmart is a fun trip.

When you go to college in a town that has mostly corn and fast food restaurants surrounding the school, going down Sycamore Rd to visit Walmart and all the other convenient stores is a fun trip.

7. Your face freezes when you go outside in the winter.

Due to the open farmland, wind velocity is the strongest I’ve ever experienced. My freshman year, we had -20 degree weather. They even cancelled class because you were bound to get frostbite standing outside for more than 10 minutes.

8. You get weekly safety bulletin updates.

The school implemented this cool system where it lets you know anything bad that happens through email or texts. Usually the first week back, you will have multiple updates.

9. However, the only texts you receive are about home invasions.

Related to the safety bulletins, there are home invasions on a regular basis. If you live by Eco Apartments or on Greek row, this particularly hits home (no pun intended) because of how close they can be. I guess people get too bored and don’t know what else to do with themselves.

10. Dekalb is serious about corn.

If Dekalb is known for anything, it’s for corn. That’s the main crop grown in the area. They even have a festival in the fall named after the corn (appropriately dubbed Corn Fest,) and they have multiple stands that sell different seasoned corn for everyone to try.

11. Tugs.

Northern Illinois University is one of the few schools which hosts this event. It’s a competition for Greek members and s an intense version of tug-of-war. This is one of the most anticipated events for the Greek members.

12. The Castle.

Altgeld Hall is the oldest building on campus and is known as “The Castle.” It looks just like a castle and is even more beautiful inside. No one has classes in there anymore, it simply functions as an office building and a place where alumni have their weddings.

13. Reavis Hall: Reh-vis, not Ree-vis.

Located next to Dusable and known as the English Building, so many freshmen mispronounce it and the English majors get slightly agitated by it.

14. Barsema.

The business building is Barsema, but it’s also known widely for being open 24 hours. Once classes really get rolling and finals come around, it’s packed with students who are attempting to pull all-nighters. Even if you aren’t a business major, you go here frequently because it’s the place to be.

See Also

15. Burritoville.

Drunk Mexican food. That is all.

16. There’s a building dedicated exclusively to the Psychology and Computer Science Programs.

This may not seem that weird, and it really isn’t a problem, but it’s one of the many things that just doesn’t make sense about Northern Illinois University. The building is called the “Computer Science and Psychology Building” and those are the only classes held in that building. They are two subjects completely unrelated, and yet it apparently made sense to keep them together.

17. You can’t rely on the Huskie Bus System.

It was probably a great idea when someone first proposed the system. It’s just unreliable. If you live in the residence halls, you may not be able to get on a bus because those stops are too packed. If you live on Greek row, the bus app says its location hasn’t been updated for 20 minutes, even though you know it has to be somewhere en route. Sometimes the whole app malfunctions altogether and you have to stand outside in the cold, waiting and hoping for the best.

18. Douglas will forever be a pastime for anyone who attended before 2015.

Douglas was also one of the oldest residence halls on campus. Not only was it a cheaper option, but they used to hold classes in some of the spare meeting rooms. In 2014, the school made it known that Douglas would be closed and teared down. The process was then delayed for another year when some unhealthy mold was found. Now there is nothing there except the much needed expansion of Lucinda Ave.

19. “Forward, Together Forward”

This phrase can be found in the Fight Song as well as anywhere on campus. After the shooting that devastated the campus in 2008, this phrase became the motivation in which the school moved forward with. It brought everyone together, insuring that everything would be OK. Now, located outside of Cole Hall where the shooting took place, there is a beautiful monument to those who lost their lives that can be read “Forward, Together Forward,” repeating in a constant circle.


Northern Illinois University is known for football and boy, do we know it. MAC champions and multiple bowl games, NIU has truly become the football team of Illinois. Football season is my favorite time because you’ve got tailgating, games, and homecoming. Everyone is just immediately happier during this time.

Despite all the craziness of Northern Illinois University and Dekalb, everyone came here for a reason. I know I’m proud to be a Huskie!

Featured image source:
Kaitlin Gettinger

Kaitlin is currently a Junior English Major with a Creative Writing Certificate, Spanish and Psychology Minor at Northern Illinois University. She is a Delta Zeta, Gamma Rho Chapter. She spends her free time crafting, watching Doctor Who, and planning out her next vacation.

Recent Posts

The Ultimate Guide To Eating at UConn

There are nine dining halls at the UConn Storrs campus! It’s basically a city, so these options are so great…

1 hour ago

15 Awesome Websites To Keep You Organized In College

College can become hectic sometimes which is why it's crucial to take advantage of all the help staying organized in…

4 hours ago

The 10 People You’ll Meet On Campus At FSU

If you’re a student at Florida State University or have been lucky enough to grace your way through our campus,…

16 hours ago

10 Ways To Eat Like An Adult In College

There’s no doubt that all college students eat a similar diet during their college years. We can identify that diet…

20 hours ago

What Not To Do Your First Week Of College

Attention freshmen heading off to college in the coming weeks: get ready for the ride of your life. Entering college…

24 hours ago

20 Hacks To Look Stylish AF On A College Budget

Looking cute on a college budget is hard. I have high-end taste but a low-end budget. Throughout my experience as…

1 day ago