9:08 am - The entire class is of 2016 is together for the first time at the Campus Life Welcome in Common Ground—well, minus a few awesome people who are starting at NYUNY due to visa problems. We love you guys!
10:04 am - The class breaks into groups for touring the offices and departments on floors 4 and 5 of Sama Tower.
12:33 pm - Headed to Downtown Campus, or “DTC,” for the first time as students.
1:15 pm - I convince Louie to check out a DVD copy of Heathers from the library. Yeah, NYUAD Library has Heathers in its DVD collection.
2:13 pm - Bonding with Zoe over our mutual 10-hour time difference jet lag. It feels like 4 am and we’re about to take a math placement test…
4:57 pm - Shivering through the last minutes of the math test.
5:29 pm - Two rings of the doorbell, and facility services appear to fix the air conditioner wall controls. Our room is abuzz with service workers and girls getting ready for the Welcome Dinner.
6:55 pm - Buses arrive at Beach Rotana Hotel. A ridiculously extravagant dinner awaits us.
7:08 pm - The huge dining room is lit up with purple lights, but suddenly white lights are switched on. My table decides that it has all had a collective stroke.
7:41 pm - Listening to the speeches from prominent members of the faculty and staff. My eyelids have never felt heavier. Hopefully dinner starts soon so I can snap out of this exhaustion.
8:02 pm - Lights switch to yellow. The whole rooms gasps/moans.
8:37 pm - Lights switch to red. Is this an experiment to see how the different light colors affect us?
10:11 pm - An impromptu lesson in flamenco dancing crops up, involving around 12 girls in the hotel bathroom.
10:55 pm - Leaving Sama to find a shisha bar, at which we fail terribly. However, all is not lost. We spot two lizards and find five fils (Ed. Note: fulus are the currency of the UAE) between them. They must be magic. Sipping on avocado juice helps cut the heat.
12:10 am - A few of us discover that a 12-year-old Louie was in a movie and got killed by bow and arrow. We vow to hunt down the footage.
12:33 am - Learning a new card game in the eighth floor lounge. No winner and just one loser. Guess who lost.
P.S. I am still terribly jet-lagged.