Illustration by Mahgul Farooqui

Fall Break Cures Avid Travelers’ Procrastination Forever

Constantly expecting the other shoe to drop, NYUAD students are experts at getting away with — and thriving on — procrastination … until one genius “low cost” airline caught on.

Sep 26, 2022

This article is a contribution to The Gazelle's weekly satire column.
Are you even an NYU Abu Dhabi student if you physically spend more time in Abu Dhabi than you are required to? After all, from day one of first year, so much of the planning and anticipation of the four year Saadiyat fever dream goes into decisions on where in the globe you will go. “I’m going to travel so much this fall break that I’ll need to skip all my classes the week after to get a break from the break!” said Truglobl Lider, Class of 2026. His initial fall break plan involved going to a different country every single day. He would come back to campus with a surface level understanding of the cultures of Greece, Serbia, Turkey, Hungary and every other country that budget airline Genius flew to.
But as his necessary documents have been sitting in a campus bureaucratic nightmare for weeks on end, his dreams are starting to evaporate. He stands to remain in immigration limbo, but given his penchant for risk taking and fear of missing out he started opening the Genius Air app and looking for flights so that he could join his upper class friends in making the world their major. Perhaps manifestation will do the trick and his visa will be approved the day before his flight.
As financial support levels on campus have dwindled from their old heights, the emergence of Genius Air onto the Abu Dhabi scene was a well timed lifesaver. A rare 100 dirham flight to Azerbaijan or Albania, or somewhere a U.S. college student would never be able to visit on any reasonable budget, could make a spontaneous weekend for those of us permanently afflicted with the FOMO virus.
After countless breaks, however, where groups of rowdy sophomores have visited the cities of Tbilisi, Istanbul and Belgrade, creating popup NYU sites, city officials throughout the world have grown wiser. Not wanting people who can’t even operate a washing machine without exploding it or have a civil discussion on an Internet forum to prop up their economy, they have reached out to all airlines that convert into the NYUAD Express four times a year — fall break, spring break, Eid break and National Day break — to put a stop to these bargain tickets.
Along with Lider, Fullo Wer, Class of 2024, had planned to wait until the first week of October to follow his friends who barely tolerate him and see what destinations would take his strong passport. However, both students were greeted by shock when they opened the Genius Air app. Flights to places that any sane person would even think of going were either sold out or going for seven times their normal rate, forcing students to consider spending their entire semester’s assistantship salary to not miss out.
“It turns out that the strategy of successfully doing everything the night before with the force of three Double Iced Shakens has some exceptions and one of them is buying flight tickets,” remarked Wer. To his dismay, he had to spend his fall break in the silent Saadiyat bubble. There weren’t even enough Netflix Originals to keep him entertained for eight whole days. “What am I supposed to do? Apply for jobs? Call my family? I don’t think you know what kind of life I’m missing out on,” whined Wer. He began frantically searching SkyScanner for flights to anywhere that no fellow student would go to. “I heard Nuuk, Greenland might be nice at this time of year,” he hypothesized. “Whatever it costs, I need something new. Why go to another country when I’ll see NYU IDs dropped on the sidewalk and run into people from campus at every restaurant I go to?” he asked himself. Antarctica, as the last continent without a NYU Global Site, also deserves a mention on the underrated list.
Wer only has two years left in his prolific university career, but first years like Lider learned from these flight prices a new way of thinking. Students are no longer completing their Capstones in adrenaline fueled all nighters, sleeping in library study rooms before FOS exams, or pretending in front of their classmates that they “totally didn’t study” for that incredibly difficult exam that featured physics problems straight out of the competition book.
Maybe a situation involving NYUAD students, real money and real world accountability will finally change the culture on campus in a way that countless flame wars have failed to. Or travel is truly an inelastic good and nothing can stop the hordes of NYUAD students from fleeing the confines of John Sexton’s artificial creation and experiencing other cultures in an AirBNB with 16 fellow students from their own country.
Ethan Fulton is Senior Opinion Editor and Satire Columnist. Email him at
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