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Chris Damlo column: Reality of what lies ahead finally sinks in

As I sit and stare at the serenity of the sky, the scary reality finally hits me. I am going to graduate this year.

It seems so implausibly surreal, my whole life will shortly begin after the moment I am presented with my diploma.

Now that I have some time, I have been looking back on my high school career, trying to see if everything I did was truly worth it.

As in everyone's past, there were good and bad times. There are things I wish I would have been more involved with. I do not really regret anything, because if a single one of my actions would have been taken back, I would most likely be on a different path than I am now.

Who knows, maybe I'd be a different person entirely.

I look back on the important things. I have many friends whom I love and would not trade for the universe and its entirety. Despite the bad memories, I have more good memories that could shine through any darkness. I could paint the sky a whole new color with all my happy memories. That's all that counts isn't it? That in the end, you live life with no regrets?

It feels like I just gotten to high school. It went by so fast. It seems like yesterday I was peeing (from my nerves) my pants during freshmen orientation. It's so difficult to fathom that I am actually done with school and am going to be starting my life.

I'm going to have to deal with things such as debt, insurance, college and just life in general. Am I really ready for this? Is anyone really ready to take the next step? I mean we may all think "Thank God I'm finally done," but in reality, I am scared out of my wits to go to college. I think in a way everyone is.

I just would like to take this column as an opportunity to thank all of the people in my life who have stuck by me throughout the years and who have always been there for me. Despite the rough times, and ideological differences, I love you all.

I want to thank my parents, my sister and my whole family for always being so supportive of me and all my crazy, radical endeavors. I would like to throw a word of praise and thanks to all the amazing teachers I have had over the years. Each and every one was an inspiration in some way.

This is a time for all of us to rejoice and be proud of ourselves for making it this far. A new world awaits all of us. A world of wonder, a world of business, a world of love, a world of pain, a world of war, a world of temptation, a world of knowledge.

Whatever all of you decide to do with your life, just remember everything you've been taught and live life as you see fit. Be yourself, love yourself and remember every human has the ability to do anything they set their hearts to.

Christopher Damlo graduated from Detroit Lakes High School this spring.