Homesick students can call NIU home

By Joe Lowery

Between the stress of homework and varying social activities, students may get a longing feeling in their stomach.

Not the longing for a bean burrito, but for home.

NIU provides services for students who find themselves homesick. Diane Pospisil-Kinney, a counselor at NIU’s Counseling and Student Development Center, said NIU provides “different layers of help” for students when they have a problem with homesickness.

The first step a student can take is getting in contact with his or her community advisers or hall directors for support. If the problem is severe and this is not enough, students can then seek counseling at the CSDC.

There were activities offered during NIU’s Welcome Days that new students could partake in. These activities helped students connect with others throughout the university and gave them a chance to get involved.

“The best way to deal with homesickness is to take preventative measures,” Pospisil-Kinney said. “The more active a student is, the less likely they are to start missing home.”

Jim Intihar, a freshman biology major, said getting involved with Welcome Days helped keep his mind on other things.

“I haven’t really had time to think about home,” Intihar said. “I attended the Friday Fest activity, and have been spending my time getting to know new people and going to classes.”

Although most students have not thought about homesickness this early in the year, there are some that have come up with their own ways of coping.

Senior political science major Abbey Pospisil said it has gotten easier every year to deal with being away from home.

“Being a freshman was when it was definitely the worst, but usually just calling home helped a bunch,” she said. “If I really started missing the family though, I would plan a trip home for the weekend.”

Pospisil said getting involved with activities at school and hanging out with her friends also helped her.

“If you let yourself get caught up in all the school has to offer, you eventually start feeling like NIU is your home,” Pospisil said.