1. Everything you thought you knew about summer is wrong
You’ve probably seen hot summers in your home country. Maybe that’s something you look forward to every year because it affords you the opportunity to go to the beach or do something in the community. But in Abu Dhabi, summer is embraced in an entirely different way. It's hot, sometimes sticky hot, all year round. The weather places your seasonal activities in a different order than you’ve probably known them. Figure out a new routine and adapt.
2. You meet people from places you've never heard of
Being a student at NYUAD is an adventure of living with a group of students who are from all over the world. Although students have the opportunity to select who they can live with, chances are that the other rooms in your suite will be occupied by other sets of people, and your neighbors will speak nine different languages.
3. Sharing and waiting is part of residence life
Okay, maybe this isn't such a fun fact. In residence, you learn to share space and items (mostly vacuum cleaners) with other students on your floor. You will learn to appreciate and sometimes dislike their cooking, music, movies or conversations. You may learn to keep your space tidier than you normally would at home in order to keep your roommate sane during a stressful semester. And it doesn’t even end in your room! In the larger shared spaces, you will learn all about time management, especially when it comes to getting laundry done or waiting to use the kitchen area. There are definitely periods of high demand.
4. Life is made easy because some of the best moments are planned for you
Programming is the most exciting part of being a Resident Assistant (RA). We foster community and make life more meaningful through fun programs that not only entice residents, but also leave them with something positive to take away. The faculty-fellow-in-residence may also invite you to a homemade dinner or to an event on campus or in Abu Dhabi. The Inter-Residence Hall Council complements this on a bigger scale for all three residential colleges, so that community is fostered across the student body. A couple of times a year, residence staff host inclusive programs like midnight breakfasts or donation drives.
5. You learn that asking for help is a sign of strength
Sometimes, you may not have the energy to carefully plan how you want to have fun. The Office of Residential Education knows this, and employs Resident Assistants like me to make your living experience more meaningful than the everyday cycle of waking up, studying, and going to sleep. RAs live on each floor to make your stay as comfortable and rewarding as possible. They serve as facilitators for most of the experiences that students living in NYUAD housing will have, such as facilities requests and safety guidance. In addition to that, they also serve as your first point of contact if you have any worries about your social well-being or your health and wellness. If they cannot help, they will direct you to someone who can.