If you went to Convocation last week and heard Ishmael Beah speak, you’ll have gained an appreciation for the books at your disposal to read. And if you haven’t yet read A Long Way Gone, I hope you will now. Let Beah’s experiences and speech remind you what a privilege it is to attend college, pursue any topic that interests you, and spend time reading and discussing what you read with others. Sadly, many Americans have not read a book in the past year and low levels of literacy are correlated with poverty. One college student once told me, just after graduating, that he’d gone through his entire college career without ever reading an entire book–as if this were something to be proud of. As Beah said, so many people around the world wish they had the chance to pursue an education, to read books, and expand their minds. Take advantage of this opportunity you have–don’t think of your books, reading, studying, attending class, and writing as “the enemy” but rather as some of the best friends, mentors, connections, and opportunities you’ll ever have.