A desire for power and respect can make us do crazy things—especially in high school. After all, there’s no greater reward than the attention of our peers.

Christos Kalogirou was 15 when his parents enrolled him in the Athol Murray College of Notre Dame, a prestigious co-ed boarding school tucked away in Saskatchewan. For Christos, high school was harder than real life. By 16, he had turned a desperate need to stand out into a business venture, reaping all the rewards he craved—until the rewards almost cost him everything. In Wild Dogs, Christos shares the personal story that became an urban legend.

Published with permission from the author.

Relatable and inspiring, this chronicle contains lessons for everyone who has made a mistake and wants to right the wrongs in their life. Whether they’re a current student or a graduate of the tumultuous teenage years, readers will learn the power of redemption, the importance of friendships, and the value of working with the system instead of against it. This entertaining and insightful coming-of-age story will provide readers with a perspective they didn’t know they needed and show them that life is a journey they can’t take too seriously.

I recently caught up with Christos to find out what inspired him to write the book, the biggest lesson he learned going through his journey, and how he’s applied that lesson in his life.

What happened that made you decide to write the book? What was the exact moment when you realized these ideas needed to get out there?

I remember sitting around with all the guys I went to school with from 9th to 12th grade, just sharing funny stories from our time together (many of which you can read about in the book). One of my buddies, Eddie, said somebody should write a book about everything we were discussing. I never really commented on it then, when Eddie brought up the idea.

But it always stuck with me and sparked the idea to write what became Wild Dogs.

What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned going through the journey you share in the book?

I think the biggest lesson for me—and this is something I carry with me even today—is to value your time. It brings to mind the story of Mandi, who we talk about in the book. She wasn’t in my graduation year, but rather a year below me. She did value her time—and it was cut short.

Her story always hits me hard and I know the same is true of all my classmates. You don’t know when it’s going to be your last day, so always value your time while you’re here.

Published with permission from the author.

How will you apply this lesson in your life moving forward?

In 2012, I was put in the hospital with aortic dissection and Notre Dame helped me pull through. Those morals that I learned throughout the years—although I didn’t pay attention then—were certainly burned in my mind. I just kept pushing forward. I believe that if you emerge through a struggle, it’s a powerful thing. It’s much sweeter when you push through that challenge.

So that was my mindset having to learn how to walk again, talk again, and eat again while I was in the hospital. I had to take all these things these doctors were telling me—what I was not going to be able to do—and tell them that I’m going to prove them wrong. I think about it quite often, but if it wasn’t for Notre Dame, I’d probably still be in a wheelchair.

During that time of working to emerge through the struggle, I tried my best to cherish that time and all the small milestones. Even today, almost a decade later, I take the same approach.