Senior year can feel like the end of the world. For Come November protagonist Rooney—and for me—that was especially true.
In the novel, Rooney’s mom is part of an organization called Next World Society who believe that on November 17th of that year they will depart to another planet.
In my own senior year of high school, the legend of the end of the Mayan calendar was playing out before me. The belief was that the calendar the Mayans created stopped on December 21, 2012 (12/21/2012), which many interpreted to mean the end of the world was coming. For some it was a joke, for others it was extremely serious, but for me, it was my 18th birthday. While it didn’t spoil my fun too much, it was a day that put a lot my life in perspective.
I realized I was applying to colleges far away from home, I was worried about missing my friends and family, and I was terrified of growing up. I was so focused on having the perfect senior year experience; it was hard to imagine all things coming after. Whether the world was going to end or not on my birthday, I could identify with Rooney’s attempts to cling to any consistency in her life.
In Come November, Rooney spends most of her time just trying to keep her family afloat until after November 17th passes. She doesn’t have time to make a plan for what comes after. What she is faced with on the 18th is a whole lot of unknown.
This is something almost anyone can relate to, even without an end of the world conspiracy theory hanging over their head. We often get so zeroed in on reaching a destination that we lose sight of what we’ll do once we get there. I have found myself in that cycle quite a few times since my senior year of high school, but each time I’m a little more prepared and a little less nervous.
I wish I could tell my younger self what Rooney learns from her experience her senior year: The people who love and support you will continue to do so even when they can’t be physically with you. You can’t really plan for the end of the world, or even what comes next in your life, but you can surround yourself with people who make the unknown feel a little more familiar. I highly recommend Come November for anyone feeling like the end of the world is upon them.
Social Media Coordinator, Mackenzie, on her own high school graduation day as proof it was not the end of the world.