Today is my first day of my fourth year of university. One of my favourite parts about getting ready to head back to school is shopping for supplies. I don’t know why, but I am weirdly at peace in stationary and office supplies stores. I think it has something to do with how all the products are nicely stacked on shelves according to size and colour, appealing to my need to have everything just so.
Something that I learned about myself while shopping for school supplies is just how picky I can be. For instance, if someone hands me a pen, I write with it, regardless of the brand, ink colour, ink type, or grip configuration, but when it comes to picking out pens for my exclusive personal use, I know exactly what I want and cast aside all other pens as inferior writing utensils.
While perusing my school supplies drawer, I noticed that some of my favourites were dwindling, so I hit up a Walmart to replenish my stock, and I wanted to share the supplies that I love using.
My writing utensil of choice is a Dixon HB pencil. Yes, it must be a Dixon brand pencil. They are easy to distinguish from other pencils because the eraser islight pink, as opposed to white or dark pink both of which smudge the pencil when erasing. I do use mechanical pencils on occasion though, particularly during a multiple-choice exam where the professor uses those Scantron sheets that necessitate a completely filled-in bubble to recognize the correct answer. Each have their own pros and cons: regular pencils require sharpening and the shavings can be messy; mechanical pencils need to be refilled with graphite of a certain size. Personally, I like to stick to regular pencils as much as possible.
Last year I strayed from my classic pen choice (Pentel R.S.V.P. medium line) and gave erasable pens a try Well I fell in love. The only trouble is that they run out of ink so quickly, so I picked up the ones that come with a refill. They write really smoothly and evenly, and have that gel pen quality to the lines. However, the ink does not always dry instantly and, for a left-hander like me, this means that I may end up smearing the ink with the side of my hand. The savings on white out tape though neutralize that con, and the smears can easily be erased away.
Each year I treat myself to one splurge purchase and this year it was the Bic Marking Permanent Ultra Fine 8 pack. I love using permanent markers for labelling and all through concept maps, and these colours are just so lovely and diverse. I hope they don’t bleed through to the other side of paper too much but I am really looking forward to using these. I didn’t notice until I got home but my package contains two green pens, so I wonder if it is just a coincidence or if all packages come with two greens.
Also, I picked up a ton of highlighters because I go through them like nobody’s business. I have a strict system: yellow for words that are defined, pink for headings, blue for information, green for names, orange for processes, and purple for stats. The purple rarely gets used but the blue is always out halfway through teterm so I am planning ahead. These are also great for sectioning parts of concept maps into related topics.
All the school supply goodies:
- Pilot FriXion Point 0.5mm Extra-Fine needle point Erasable Gel Ink Pens in blue and black
- Bic Brite Liner Grip highlighters
- Post-it Notes in Rio de Janeiro colours (3 in x 3in) and Miami colours
- Post-it Notes Cube (1 7/8 in x 1 7/8 in) in pink, blue, and sea foam green
- Bic Marking Permanent Ultra Fine 8 pack (pink, blue, green, yellow, orange, red, black)
- Bic Gel-osity Retractable Gel Pens
- PaperMate Replay PREMIUM Vibrant Gel Ink Pens (Pink, turquoise, orange, purple)
- Bic Wite-Out Correction Tape
- Dixon HB/2 Pencils
- Bic Extra Precision Mechanical Pencils
What school supplies are you using this year???