It’s a new year, and we’re excited to watch The Collegian continue to grow alongside its 2020 writers.

Once again, here is a series of brief autobiographies from the members of our core group.

Annika Lee
Hello there! My name’s Annika, and I’m a Year 12 student from Snell house. I’m exceptionally proud to be one of The Collegian’s executives this year! It may be just my third year in this amazing group dedicated to promoting student voice and appreciating poetic talent, but I’ve always possessed a keen affinity for reading, writing, and just the magnificent power of words in general. Every day, I am constantly in awe of how the mere combination of letters can work to magically evoke such purpose and meaning in our lives. However, even with this beguiling superpower, I – like anyone else – am still in the process of slowly figuring out my own purpose, throughout my day-to-day life of passionate singing, spontaneous dancing, insightful confabulating, constant psychoanalysing, and endless ruminating (just to name a few among a plethora of other arbitrary activities). There’s wonder and joy to be found simply existing in the same time and space as… well, perhaps, you, the person reading this – and that, for now, is enough for me to continue living with purpose.
As this space is evidently limited, the only way to justly conclude a lacklustre summary of myself is to finish on a seemingly jejune but infinitely applicable quote that I’ve carried with myself through life so far:
“To be the best that you can possibly be.”

Nancy Qiang
Welcome to the Collegian! I’m Nancy, one of the Exec and editors for The Collegian this year. As this is my third year in The Collegian, we have set goals to make even greater achievements and impact upon our school community and wider society through our writing and articles. Although I have never been the type who is outgoing enough to express their opinion whenever, where ever, The Collegian has provided me a space where I can comfortably express whatever strange thoughts that pass through my head when I’m listening to the same playlist on loop for the 12th time. Many people have also found themselves at home with The Collegian, and we strive to be able to share more of these strange but beautiful ideas with a greater group of people this year within our ever-widening school society. Please keep an eye out for our amazing pieces which will be rolling out soon!

Ellen Wang
Hey; I’m Ellen. I can’t believe how much The Collegian has grown over less than three short years, and can only hope to live up to even a fraction of the legacy our beloved founders and predecessors Angela Zhang, Justin Hu, and Isabel Li have left us.
Written communication is crucially important. Writing is an art form that shares the common purpose of every other: the desire to articulate what cannot be said; to identify what cannot be understood; to interlink our hearts with emotion, the struggle of being human, the meaning to living in this world. Prose, as an isolated medium, is uniquely capable of precisely pinpointing the abstracts (like perception and epiphany and serendipity)—not only to bring them to light, but to grant them a name, so that, somewhere in our minds, we can see them, we can understand them, and we can understand each other.
This is why we write; this is what The Collegian aspires to do in all its journalism and fiction. When we write, and when we read, we pass on our hearts; we entrust them to each other.

Andrew Zeng
Hello! (Because hi is too complicated.) I’m Andrew, a Year 12 student from Snell house. Escaping the confines of elohell proved to be too difficult, and so I decided to seek fame and glory through other unconventional means. Despite suffering major casualties (approximately 101.0000000001% of my braincells) I have stumbled my way through college life as an alpaca enthusiast and freelance card-throwing assassin. Friendly word of advice would be that if you ever feel lost, just remember: When you come to a fork in the road, take it. ― Yogi Berra.

Binuri Marasinghe
Hola! My name is Binuri and I’m a Year 10 in Batten (a very short Year 10). Last year the Writing Collegian was absolutely amazing and I’m thrilled to be able to be here again! Stories have been my sanctuary since I was young, and I’m glad that I can let my imagination run wild and let loose my creativity through this opportunity, especially since school is pretty hectic and can make you forget what you’re happiest doing. I really hope this year my writing pieces can be released more frequently, although I do love the policy of  ‘quality, not quantity’. I hope that at least one person can take something good out of my stories and be inspired by them. Remember – start writing, no matter what.

Elaine Cao
Hello! I’m Elaine, a Year 10 student from Batten and pretty much every water sign stereotype. If you need some more insight then that, consider the fact that I spent five minutes searching through the lyrics to Mitski’s ‘Brand New City’ before ultimately deciding that in no universe did any of them leave an upbeat and positive impression. So here’s a quote from a slightly more upbeat and positive book instead. “Being clever was, after all, my primary source of self-esteem. I’m a very sad person, in all senses of the word, but at least I was going to get into university.” ― Alice Oseman, Radio Silence.

Dominic Donahue
I’m Dominic, a year 13 from Batten house, and I’m already wondering why time passes so quickly. Like everyone else, I’ve found myself wandering in this strange world of ours: getting lost, even, what with all of our more contemporary problems—declining mental health, electric friendships, big bad bombs, the wholesale destruction of the Earth’s biosphere, and maybe a little too much desensitization, to name some more general ones. Yet I’m just another out of the billions of us, like the rest of you, so most of my rumination centers on the more selfish, ‘normal’ stuff. Like going somewhere with my life, for example. By some combination of random happenstance and burning curiosity, I’ve found myself trying, and liking, a lot of things: reading, programming, math, writing, sciences, and whatever else I find myself hooked on during whichever season you catch me in. So here I am at Macleans, trying as best I can to sort myself out, trying to learn a little, doing some extracurriculars, making friends; going somewhere, at least. “The mind commands the body and it obeys. The mind orders itself and meets resistance.” —Frank Herbert, Dune.

Olivia Lee
you know that one girl that walks around with pigtails and two light blue scrunchies? yea that’s me, olivia. i’m a yr11 in upham house and a new writer at the collegian. i, uh, actually applied to the collegian half-asleep at 2am after the spontaneous revelation that i could call myself an authentic “author” if i got in. well hey! i get to call myself an author now. besides from being an ~author~ i enjoy art, music, sports and thrills. my style of writing is probably most accurately described as chaotic neutral. a reflection of my libra personality. catch me dropping all my books on the way to class, running late to chemistry or simply just reading up about true crime and the paranormal – but i digress, i’m excited to share my copious existentialism, idiosyncratic thoughts, unorthodox opinions, and over-the-top creativity to you all. from that one sleep-deprived scrunchie girl in the collegian, here’s to an enthralling 2020 !

Palash Manthalkar
Hi! My name’s Palash, a Year 9 student from Kupe House, and I’m proud to be a part of The Collegian team for 2020. Some of my hobbies are tending to my bit of the garden at home, playing Squash, swimming, and playing the piano. I am an avid reader, and a huge fan of the Percy Jackson series. It’s really what got me into reading fiction in the first place. Now that I think about it, the only thing I used to read before Percy Jackson was non-fiction (and I have no idea why I was so interested in schoolbooks back then)… Anyways, I digress. I’m really looking forward to be a member of The Collegian this year, and will always be writing new stuff for your enjoyment 🙂 I’ll leave you with a quote: “Adapt what is useful, reject what is useless, and add what is specifically your own.” – Bruce Lee.

Ermina Tajik
Hi! My name is Ermina and I’m a year 13 from Rutherford. I am essentially a paradox. I know much about myself but don’t necessarily know who I am. I know where I come from but I’m not fully convinced of where I belong. It’s no wonder I enjoy getting sucked into the endless realities of literature! Usually sleep-deprived, sometimes stressed and always thinking – you’re guaranteed a wide range of writing from me. In case you are actually looking for concrete information, I am (in no particular order) a Virgo, INFJ, debater, photographer and an occasional dabbler in the arts. As a temporary farewell, I leave you with a quote from the first series that introduced me to the concept of fandoms and shockingly, people actually reading the same books I did! Don’t judge. I used to be the only kid who would actually read during library time. Alas here is a thought to ponder over. “Where’s the glory in repeating what others have done?” ― The Percy Jackson Series.

Nicole Lai
Hi! My name’s Nicole and I am a new Yr 9 member of the Macleans Collegian team and am from Batten house. I’m excited to be part of this team because writing is one of my passions, specifically creative writing. When I was younger I never enjoyed reading very much and although I’ve grown slightly more fond of reading fiction novels I still have that slight ache in my heart whenever I pick up a book. So, I don’t fully understand why I’ve all of a sudden become ‘good’ at writing. Apart from my weird writing situation, some of my hobbies which I enjoy doing are hip-hop dancing and debating. Anyways that’s enough about me, I look forward to whatever this year has for us and for what The Collegian has in store.

Louis Lee
Hello everyone, I am Louis Lee, a year 12 purple patriot from Mansfield. As a person who typically regains himself after several hours from being captured by a book, I understand and admire the wonders that a book can hold. With this in mind, I have tried to recreate that sort of power that writers have when they tell a story. At school, English creative writing tasks have been my target. Now, being fortunate enough to become a Collegian writer for 2020, I am excited by the prospect of being able to share my ideas to a wider audience, without any of the terrible ‘word count’ limitations. The upcoming year already seems full of opportunities, and I hope to bring to you several interesting articles for you to enjoy! With that, I leave you with a famous quote from the celebrated writer, Katherine Mansfield: “I want to be all that I am capable of becoming.”

Published on 15/03/2020. Header image courtesy Debby Hudson on Unsplash.

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