RASHID AL ARMELI WRITES – With Coronavirus, all the movies about an AI (Artificial Intelligence) virus taking over suddenly became real.  Until the news struck, all I thought about was what I was planning to do the next day. Suddenly the building I live in sent out emails about changing cleaning supplies to try to kill any trace of the virus. I started out rejecting the news, blocking everything negative about the virus and trying to go on as usual. Finally, it hit me – this is definitely something I cannot avoid and it’s the new reality. So I got this new idea about reflecting on, rather than rejecting this new reality.

My life has changed. Before the virus, usually, after school, I would finish studying and then go see a group of friends; but with all this time on my hands and not being able to see them,  I had to find a replacement activity. I then learned new, lengthy cooking recipes from back home, such as the Machboos, a traditional Kuwaiti home cooked meal with poultry and rice. Each took around 1-3 hours to make. All the trials and errors were frustrating but I finally made a great and difficult home cooked meal in half the time it had taken me before. So I found myself reflecting, and finding out that the more I fail, and keep trying, the better the outcome will be. Wow, who ever thought that was right!

I also needed to do something more productive than cooking and eating. I then found an app for home workouts that I started doing regularly for an hour each day. That definitely reshaped my time and helped me feel more positive as well as relaxed in my cozy apartment. I realized that I had to branch out to something else, something new. Remembering that I had gotten Benjamin Graham’s legendary book on the stock market,The Intelligent Investor, I  started to read 30 minutes a day. This definitely sparked my interest even more in my major, which is finance. Two  days later, I got an email from Goldman Sachs accepting my workshop application, which was a great bonus.

Now what I have in my day is: exercising in the morning, cooking a nice breakfast, taking online classes and studying between breaks. After classes, I cook my lunch, then enjoy reading the Graham book outside in the cool L.A weather. I also utilized our LMU membership with LinkedIn and started taking advanced-level sections of my finance classes, expanding my interest and knowledge in my chosen field.

This time should not go to waste! Personal reflection may be  exactly what some of us need in this time of fear, and, dare I say, might even encourage us to try new things that will improve our lives … even when the virus is … well… gone?

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