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Tips For Navigating NIU’s Campus (2019)

Tips For Navigating NIU’s Campus (2019)

Whether you are a transfer student, freshman, or studying here internationally – NIU can be very overwhelming place to be when you first step foot on campus. You might hear the names “Annie Glidden,” “Normal” and “Lucinda” commonly used by others to describe the location of where things are at. Meanwhile, you may have no idea how to get there, or how to tell them apart; making it harder for you to pinpoint where your classes are.  We’ve all been new to the school at some point. Sometimes we don’t like to admit if we need help getting somewhere out of fear of looking like a rookie.  If you are struggling to get around NIU, here are some easy tips to help you navigate campus like a pro!

Must Have Apps!

**One thing to note about all of these apps (with the exception of SPOT) is that they require you to sign in with your Z-ID. A Z-ID is a unique account number that each and every student at NIU is given.**

NIU This is one of the most basic apps on the list and is super easy to navigate! Upon logging in,  you’ll see a variety of icons that represent functions that many NIU students utilize. These icons work relatively similar to the apps on your smartphone. If you’re a sports fanatic and want to stay up to date on all athletic events, then the “Athletics” tab is something to utilize. Through here, you can bookmark events, photos, and videos to watch later. This app also provides you with the NIU News in general.

It’s pretty rare these days to find anyone walking around campus with a paper map. Want to know why? You guessed it. Everything is on your phone –  so a conceptual 3D map comes in pretty handy! This is especially useful those first few weeks of school when you’re trying to figure out what buildings your classes are in.

This app is very popular among students who live in the dorms because they can use the Laundry tab to find what washers/dryers are open before they make the trip over. The Laundry tab is accessible to everyone, regardless of whether or not they live in the dorms. You just need your OneCard to pay for each cycle. This tab helps students see how much time is left in their cycle so they do not have to wait around for 45 minutes. On top of that, this app also displays the availability of all laundry machines in every dorm building.  

If you are looking for a break from the dorm food or trying to grab a bite to eat in between classes, you can check out the hours and menus of some of the restaurants at the Holmes Student Center. The “Places” Tab can give you more information on dining/cafe areas such as The College Grind and Blackhawk Dining.

Tabs included in this app such as “Transit (Spot)”,  “Blackboard”, and “MyNIU” will redirect you to different apps that you must download to open. It is super helpful to have the “NIU” app because its user-friendly and  encompasses everything you need at your own convenience.

Blackboard Out of all apps listed in this article, this is a must have app! Blackboard is the platform that a majority (if not all) professors will use to post their announcements, coursework, homework links, quizzes, and sometimes even exams. It’s important to note that Blackboard will appear different on the app in contrast to your computer. When you use the app, the first thing that will appear on your screen will be the Activity Stream. This is a compilation of all announcements/activities from your professors. If you click on the 3 horizontal bars located in the top left corner, you will find a condensed version of the same information that would be provided via web.

Transit (SPOT) On and off campus residents alike can take advantage of what the “Spot” app provides. This app was designed solely to make travelling convenient for you (the student) with less hassle and at no cost. “Spot” can also be identified through the “Transit” Tab that was mentioned earlier in the “NIU” app. Spot keeps track of all the NIU bus routes and show students how far away they are from the next bus. Each bus route is marked with a unique color that distinguishes itself from the others if you are keeping track of multiple bus routes at once. You can change these settings at any time.

MyNIU Any information regarding your finances and academics can be found on this app. MyNIU keeps track of things such as your academic progress and admissions. If you are trying to register for classes or look at your record, use this app as your #1 “Go To” . If you are inquiring about your financial aid or looking to see if you have an outstanding balance on your account, your answers can be found here. MyNIU offers the same accessibility you would get if you logged into “My Student Center” through the NIU website.




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