As Marhaba 2014 drew to a close, the members of NYU Abu Dhabi's Class of 2018 gathered to reflect on their university experiences thus far. They were asked: Years from now when you think about Marhaba, what will you remember? Here's what just a few anonymous freshmen had to say.
About the people
- Meeting some of the most amazing people I will ever meet at the dining halls.
- The overwhelming number of new friends.
- How I'm surrounded by people that are so loving and talented and all around amazing!
- The team spirit that is in everyone.
- Meeting people who know people I know and realizing it's a small world.
- People, heat, and even more awesome people!
- How much all faculty and administration and RAs took care of us and were extra nice and helpful. I never ever in my wildest dreams expected such a warm welcome.
- Meeting the most amazing people from around the world.
- Not even thinking about where to sit at meals because everyone treats you like a friend.
- Making friends so easily.
- Finally meeting the friends I made online in person.
- Meeting my roommates for the first time!
- Seeing my peers displaying their numerous talents at the Variety Show.
- Awkwardly half-recognizing people from Facebook!
- Meeting people from so many different countries (even if some of the names are hard…)!
About the activities
- The Variety Show. The incredible moments when person after person stood up and put on incredible performances.
- The midnight campout on the High Line.
- The RAs' imitations of us freshmen during the Variety Show — they were too accurate.
- Winning the scavenger hunt.
- Playing table tennis at 3am with people I just met.
- The awesome support of my fellow freshmen at the Variety Show even if you messed up.
- The scavenger hunt. I made a half-court basketball shot!
- The Welcome Dinner, when the professor told us to sing.
- The last program of the Variety Show when a bunch of Latin students went up and rapped and danced. The audience got up and danced along.
- The Fun & Games Night stands out in my mind as a striking memory from Marhaba, as it was the first opportunity to collaborate and cooperate with my new and wonderful classmates.
- The Variety Show, when I really realized just what amazing, talented people surround me.
- Playing games with all sorts of people at Fun and Games Night — low-key, super fun atmosphere made it super easy to meet people and make friends.
- I will remember the night of the Variety Show, when with a very short notice, an amazing number of talented classmates just went up on the stage and hypnotized us for several hours.
- The speeches and official dinner.
- The feeling of love and total acceptance and support within the Variety Show — we were, from that moment, complete together.
About the campus
- Experiencing the new campus together.
- The first glance at the campus. I was like, "this is insane."
- Basking in the magnificence of the new campus.
- Seeing the campus for the first time and realizing this is my home for the next four years.
- The food in the dining hall.
About their feelings
- Feeling the care and willingness of people to be with each other and learn from each other.
- Feeling the atmosphere of NYUAD.
- Feeling confused, lost, humbled, and small, but in a good way.
- Sharing the feeling of excitement with people coming from all over the world.
- The moment when I felt content about being 4,000 km away from home.
About everything else
- Falafel at 1am and making close friends in a short time.
- Learning about the UAE from Emiratis.
- Being extremely jetlagged on my first day.
- Drinking Arabic coffee and eating dates in the Arts Building.
- Losing my luggage and literally living off my roommate (who I didn't know before that).
- Seeing the showers in our room and freaking out with my roommate.
- The absence of awkward moments.
- Asking someone's name for the tenth time.
- Having a really hilarious talk with my roommates about our traditions and our style of life!
- The upbeat, positive atmosphere and connecting with many different like-minded people.
- Not sleeping. Hardly any sleep at all.
- Staying up till 1 or 2am talking with new classmates about wherever they're from.
- Arriving at NYUAD and stepping out of the bus (experiencing the heat).
Meet some of our freshmen in this Marhaba 2014 video.