It’s the weekend, where are you?

NIU has been called a suitcase college by many. This refers to the fact that a large percentage of students go home every weekend.

Because of the school’s location between Chicago and Rockford, NIU attracts mostly suburbanites and city dwellers. Most people don’t have more than an hour’s drive, so they can easily go home Friday afternoon and come back Sunday night.

According to the private research organization FACT (Fabrications Andy Created Today), nine out of 10 NIU students go home at least once a month, seven out of 10 go home every other weekend and four out of 10 go home every weekend. Actually, FACT reports that 11 out of 50 dorm beds are never slept in.

However, I am one of several people who stay on campus year-round. Winter, spring and summer breaks mean a few days with the parents, then it’s back to DeKalb. It’s not that I don’t like my parents or Chicago, but I came to NIU to be away from home. I could have gone to UIC and commuted, but I didn’t want to.

Whenever I encounter someone who goes home all the time, the conversation goes a little like this:

“Why the f—- do you go home all the time? Do you miss your parents that much?”

“‘Cause there’s nothing to do in DeKalb.”

“Have you ever been here on a weekend?”

“Well, no.”

“So how do you know?”

There’s nothing more frustrating than talking to someone who has apron strings so tightly wrapped around their neck. Of course, there’s nothing to do here if you’re somewhere else!

People talk about how great U of I is because of their great sports teams (or whatever) and how awesome SIU is because it’s such a party school. And they road trip out there to escape the doldrums of NIU.

But NIU could be just as fun as any other school if people were around to make it that way. Why should there be a ton of activities here if they’re catering to a handful of students?

What’s really frustrating is that NIU and DeKalb do offer a lot to students who stick around. Whatever your tastes, there is always something happening.

And this is where the point of this column comes in … If you find out that you’ll be stranded in DeKalb for a weekend, look around. As a matter of fact, look in this newspaper.

Every Thursday, check out the Huskie Weekender for ideas. It is the opinion of this columnist that the eight page upside- down supplement is far more interesting than the rest of this newspaper (except this column, of course). Also, look at the advertising in this newspaper. And when you’re walking to class, pay attention to things written on the sidewalks or hanging on posts. You may find that there is fun to be found at this school.

But then again … when I think about it, I really don’t care what anyone does. Go home! Say ‘hi’ to mom for me. It’s kinda nice walking through a barren campus on a cold Saturday morning.