Words by Ella Shi
Illustrations by Tegan Iversen

Finding your perfect pen is essential. While not guaranteed to improve your grades, it can definitely make academic mediocrity more enjoyable. So before stationery shopping, make this handy guide your PENultimate stop.

The Papermate Kilometrico is the most affordable. Though scientists have yet to prove whether this pen can actually write for a kilometre, experience indicates that these things never run out of ink. However, the slim barrel makes it the culprit of crippling hand cramps. You’d think that buying a packet of 20 would mean you never run out, but this is far from reality. The large packet means it’s hard to keep track of the pens, making them the perfect target for pen thieves. Will be lost faster than used.


Many have used the classic BIC 4-Colour ballpoint, but is it really as great as its variety of hues lead you to believe? While colour versatility at the click of a pen may be a novelty to you, it will probably drive the people around you mad, and may result in a violent stabbing with writing implements. Furthermore, its longevity is surprisingly limited, as you find yourself tossing it out once your most used colour has run out.  Would not recommend unless you’re a proponent for colour equality.


The Typo Needle Me is basically your average fineliner, unabashedly branded with the Typo logo. Regardless, the five for $5 deal has lured in many. Despite its price tag, the pen writes smoothly and the somewhat rubbery veneer makes it pleasurable to grip. But be warned: the tip—though fabulously pointy—is easily blunted by a heavy hand.


I picked up a packet of Nondescript K-mart pens under the impression that stationery shopping would equate to academic success. While my agenda was flawed, the pens were not. Though cheap and rather ugly looking, they were actually of satisfactory quality and have persisted despite ample use. The occasional faulty specimen has the tendency to leak, but the risk factor adds a thrill to note taking.