The most important tool for any college student is the writing utensil. Theoretically, we all take notes in class, and what we take those notes with is of the utmost importance. Sure, one could take notes on a laptop, but there’s always that one professor with the overzealous sketches that don’t quite translate to Microsoft Word. And before anyone complains, yes, I am aware that written note-taking is available on tablets. I am choosing to ignore that for the sake of my arguments.
Let me be clear, and make no mistake of my opinion: pencils suck. If you are someone who regularly uses a pencil to take notes, I pity you. I shudder to think of it—I had to take notes with a pencil just two weeks ago while my glorious pens were missing. It was horrible. I never want to do it again.
But why? Why are pencils so bad? It’s because pencils need to be sharpened. All. The. Time. Over the course of a two-hour class, I might have to sharpen my pencil two or three times. Quickly, the pencil will lose its sharpness, and I will be writing letters that become blobs of graphite on the page. So I take out my sharpener and go to make a nice, fine point with which to write. But oh no! The tip has broken off in the sharpener (because pencils suck)! Now my professor is moving on, and I’m sitting in my seat looking at a broken tip and dysfunctional sharpener. Trying to clear the blockage just makes it worse. It requires removing the top of the sharpener, which automatically results in the spewing of pencil shavings everywhere. Then the annoying task of poking the sharpener with the (now blunt) end of the pencil to remove the broken tip. All of this, only to have it break again when I go to sharpen it. Nobody wants that.
With a pen, I never worry about it being sharp. It always writes with the exact same line thickness, no matter what. But not all pens are created equal. Some don’t flow well, others smudge and get ink on your hand, and some are just plain bad. Fear not, reader, for there is a superior pen. One pen to rule them all, as the saying goes. The Pilot G-2 07.
Let me put it this way. If an alien civilization arrived on Earth and threatened to destroy the planet unless we presented humanity’s greatest invention, the Pilot G-2 07 would be our only hope. It has the perfect line weight. It has an extremely satisfying click (clicky pens are the best) and no horrible cap with a twist function that requires two free hands to use, and is so easy to lose. It’s fun to disassemble during a slow lecture. It has the perfect weight for spinning. It’s widely available in a multitude of colors. It has a simple, clean, appealing look. I dare you to find me a better pen. If you have never wielded one of these pens, it might be time for some life reflection.
FAQ/appendix time. First up, what about mechanical pencils? Answer: I have used one mechanical pencil that I have liked. I would still prefer my pen. Most mechanical pencils are trash, and refilling them with graphite is annoying. They are also more prone to breaking tips.
What if I need to erase something? Answer: The only acceptable time to erase something is on a test with limited space, in which case I concede that pencils are more functional. But we’re not talking strictly about test-taking. If a mistake is made, just cross it out. Many times I have crossed out work or notes which proved useful later. As Bob Ross said, “We don’t have mistakes, we have happy accidents.”
What about erasable pens? Answer: Fake pens. An evil trick thought up in corporate pencil headquarters to poach pen users. Do not speak of the erasable pen.