Memories of Marhaba

First year students participate in orientation activities during Marhaba week at NYU Abu Dhabi.

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.