Pencil Case

Words by Ella Shi
Illustrations by Tegan Iversen

Amid the readings and PowerPoint print-outs of university, highlighters are vital. But with frequent use, they can become as boring as the words they bring to life. It’s time to step out of your highlighter zone.

Pilot FriXion Erasable Highlighters. You know when you highlight something important, and the next sentence turns out to be pretty important too? And the one after that? And you keep highlighting until EVERYTHING HAS BEEN HIGHLIGHTED? Well, this erasable highlighter is your salvation. However, once the eraser gets dirty, it can leave indecipherable smudges instead, though maybe that emphasises the highlighted parts more…


Faber Castell Textliner Pastel.  A pastel highlighter seems like a contradiction but it works. These are indeed discernibly fluorescent while being slightly more muted than their standard counterparts. This kind of highlighter politely taps your shoulder instead of SCREAMING IN YOUR FACE. More decorative than useful, but ever so pretty.


The Sharpie Gel Highlighter is unnecessary innovation at its finest. With a crayon-like texture and a twist barrel, it transports you back to your childhood days as you colour in your lecture notes. However, if you’re obsessively neat, this product is not for you. The gel wears down with use, so say goodbye to that crisp uniform edge you so desperately desire.


Those highlighters with Hello Kitty/assorted cartoons on them.  Probably fruit scented. You know what I’m talking about. Nauseatingly cute to look at and even better to smell. The catch is that at some point you will accidentally draw on your face as you bring it close to inhale the mouth-watering scent of chemical strawberry ink. Useful if you find yourself sitting next to someone who had too much onion in their lunch.


Post-it Flag Highlighters. As categorically elusive as the platypus, this highlighter-sticky-note hybrid is Post-it’s attempt to redefine the boundaries of stationery. They’re basically highlighters with note flags attached. The combination does seem like overkill, but it comes in handy when you have stacks of notes and need to mark which page of 99 has been highlighted.