Kaitlin’s Column: My November


Kaitlin Ryan

A series of photos taken during the fall of 2019 on a film camera.

Kaitlin Ryan, Arts & Life Editor

In his song “November,” Tyler The Creator repeatedly sings “take me back to November” over a melodic beat and funkadelic synths. The recurring mention of the month as a moment to be possessed and personalized symbolizes the best time in his life, according to Genius

I remember listening to this song and the rest on the album “Flower Boy” during the summer going into my senior year of high school. That period of time was nice, sure, filled with eagerness and teenage wonder, but it was not the best period of my life. It was not my November. 

I think we can all recognize a period of time in our lives that will forever march on as the best of times. Recently, I have found through gut-wrenching Snapchat Flashbacks that “my November” was November of 2019. 

For so long, I believed that my sophomore year of college was the pinnacle of my existence. My classes were interesting, I had a great group of friends, I found so much life-changing music and so many ugly truths about life were not uncovered yet. Walking to class, Einstein’s in hand, watching the autumn leaves die, there was a blissful sense of hope in the air each day and I even knew at the time that these would be the ‘good old days.’ 

A photo I took on a film camera in Nov. 2019 in a boutique with my friend. We both agreed that these were the ‘good old days.’ (Kaitlin Ryan)

Something that stands out to me about my favorite year of college is how fortunate I felt. I did not let any moment pass me by without recognizing how lucky I was to be experiencing it: love, happiness and such outrageous memories. 

It was a time when the In-Between still served chicken tenders and there was no such thing as the Cubby 2. My friends and I found genuine joy staying in the caf for hours on end, with no particular reason at all.

November of 2019 was my coming-of-age movie we all dream of having. I romanticized it for so long that I grieved it as time went on. For quite some time, I believed I would never be as happy as I was then, in this era where people still shared drinks and we only Zoom-ed in on Instagram pictures. 

Recently, I have realized that any point in time could be a “November.” This month, or the bit that remains of it, could be one of the greatest periods of time in retrospect. How do you make sure this happens, that you will look back on a time in your life and wish for it? 

Take all the pictures on overpriced film cameras, make all the playlists with songs that will permeate through your hippocampus when you hear them and find great people to spend it with.