Meet The Collegian’s new and returning members for 2022 in their own words, alongside new executives.

Here’s the team:

 

Executives 

Elaine Cao, Binuri Marasinghe

Writers 

Niamh Raynes

Mihika Pai

Jeremy Wang

Vanessa Li

Matthew Cao

Esara Perumbuli Arachchilage

Nicole Lai

Editors

Alana Mackenzie  

Emma Ready

Zara Nicholson

Shafquat Tabeeb

Adelina Jones

Digital Artists

Christina Bi

Sarah Shin

Phoebe Yang

Mabel Zhang

Serena Jiang

Website Operator

Joshua Yee

Prepared below are a set of autobiographies from our group.

 

EXECUTIVES

Elaine Cao

Hello! I’m Elaine and I’m a Year 12 student from Batten. In my spare time, I like trying (and failing) to work my way through all the games I own that I’ve never played. Currently reading “The Great Imperial Hangover” by Samir Puri and currently playing my third playthrough of Disco Elysium. Excited to find out what this year holds for the Collegian! 

Binuri Marasinghe

Hi, my name is Binuri Marasinghe and I’m glad to be back in the Writing Collegian as an executive this year! I’m a Year 12 student in Batten and this is my fourth year of being part of this team. The past few years have been extremely difficult for us all, but I think many people can relate to me when I say that books have helped me through a majority of the pandemic. Being able to escape into my imagination not just through reading words on a page, but writing them as well, has made me more and more grateful to be able to run this co-curricular and allow others who seek comfort in writing and drawing to showcase their talents and passions. I hope this year goes well to us all, and that you enjoy the content we publish!

 

WRITERS

Niamh Raynes

Hi, I’m Niamh. I belong to Batten house and I am in year 13! I love anything to do with films and tv shows. My favourite film at the moment is The Worst Person in the World but my favourite film of all time is Kes which also happens to be one of my favourite books. I think I’m supposed to put a quote here so here’s a quote from my recent reread of Normal People that I love and think about often, “Marianne had the sense that her real life was happening somewhere very far away, happening without her, and she didn’t know if she would ever find out where it was or become part of it.” 

Mihika Pai

Kia Ora, my name is Mihika, and I’m a proud Rutherfordian and bibliophile in my 11th year of school. I’ve fallen in love with reading, and if I trace my life right back to the first memory of literature, it would be of my mother narrating fairytale classics to me at bedtime. I would lie there, listening, until finally, slumber consumed me, the stories vibrantly materializing in my dreams. However, they didn’t entirely adhere to the traditional endings or the conventional morals. Why did all the damsels in distress depend on a proud prince for happiness? Why didn’t anyone realize how horrid it was to call the stepsisters ugly? Life is really a moral journey of peculiar societal notions, and we shouldn’t be afraid to question them. That’s what I really love about writing; that the very moral of our pieces are in our hands, and that they can be infinitely interpreted by readers. I’m elated to be a part of the core writing team for the collegian this year, and I look forward to writing the most wonderfully wrong, peculiar and eccentric pieces for you to read, with my only hope being that you find meaning, a hidden moral embedded within their lines. For now, I’ll leave you to it with a quote that I cherish: “Different isn’t bad; it’s just not the same.” -Anne Shirley-Cuthbert, Anne with an E

Jeremy Wang

Hello, I’m Jeremy. I’m a Year 12 hailing from Hillary House (though formerly a Battenite), and I’ll be part of the team of core writers for the Collegian this year. Within the restrictions of what little free time I can manage to scrounge together, I lead an “incredibly fulfilling life” which is “very exciting and varied” (for further elaboration please see: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sarcasm), with the expansive breadth of my activities outside school spanning such enthralling things as sleeping and playing games of various formats. With any luck, I’ll write a sentence or two this year, and fingers crossed they are coherent. Anywho, allow me to leave you with a profound quote that is sure to change the entire course of human events for the coming several millennia with the power of its sheer profundity. 

“Never look backwards or you’ll fall down the stairs.” – Rudyard Kipling, prominent vertical ascension safety activist (and Nobel Prize laureate though this is trivial and unimportant)

Vanessa Li

Hello. I am Vanessa Li and this is my second year writing for the Collegian.  I am a year 10 student from Hillary.  For the past year I have been focusing on writing creative pieces.  When you write creative pieces you expand your imagination by creating new worlds, circumstances, and characters. When you build characters you’ll be constructing personalities, emotions, and world views that are distinct from your own. You will be honing your empathetic skills and gaining insight into the perspectives of individuals who don’t share your life experiences. Creating structures in your writing allows you to organise your thoughts and emotions into a logical procedure. By the way, using a journal to get your thoughts out of your head and down on paper might help with subduing overthinking. Just allow each idea to arise spontaneously and write it down without judging it as it emerges 🙂

Matthew Cao

Hello, I’m Matthew. A year ten who’s from Mansfield, and I’m a part of the Collegian this year apparently, as a writer of whatever we do now…(is it stories? Or is this place supposed to have a journalistic tone? Well, it beats me). For my well, reasonings and other goals to join this, and as a person who follows the utterly perfect strategy of asking myself, why not? When taking a plunge into any commitment, I probably actually did this as a whim really. Just like my other steadily piling up commitments… Well, you can never have enough of them after all. I look forward to being part of this, ambiguously worded ‘Collegian.’
(remind me again, why did we choose this name out of all the possible ones?)

Esara Perumbuli Arachchilage

Hi, my name is Esara Perumbuli Arachchilage, a Yr 12 from Kupe House and I will be part of the Collegian’s team of core writers for this year. All my life I’ve loved reading books and losing myself in worlds and galaxies of an author’s mere mind so much further than our own. Falling in love with characters so right and wrong,  fictional but flowing with personalities and stories that we all relate to and find comfort in. Its amost embarrassing how long it took me to realise that instead of immersing myself in this countless web of worlds, I could actually create my own. Since then, I’ve written pieces on pieces of stories with a variety of characters brimming with attitude and sass and just a touch of trauma to top it off. All I can hope is that you take a chance to fall in love with them just as I did. 

I look forward to writing for the Collegian with the other writers! To end I’ll leave you with a quote since everyone else seems to be doing it. 

Nicole Lai

Greetings fellow visitor of the Collegian website I see you’ve managed to find your way to the place of bio’s and introductions. My name is Nicole Lai, year 11 from Batten, I am a core writer and this is my third year being a part of the Collegian club so honestly, I’m running out of things to say. Creative writing is my forte as I love building a world full of detail and raw emotion, an outlet you could say, and a place where I can escape to when the labour of life has me in a crippling chokehold 🙂 Many of the short pieces I write tend to focus heavily on characters’ internal conflict and dialogue, rarely moving throughout the story actually. You could say then, that I love building worlds inside worlds and as you can tell, I have yet to develop my plot progression skills which I intend on working on this year. Anyways I hope you enjoy your stay reading some of the incredible pieces put together by our writers and editors or marvel at the remarkable illustrations crafted by our talented artists. Whatever it may be I hope you find what you’re looking for and bid you farewell, navigator of the wide web.

 

EDITORS

Alana MacKenzie

Hi, my name is Alana, and it’s kind of creepy that my phone automatically knew that while I was typing. Anyway, I’m a year 10 from Rutherford (for anyone wishing to stalk me I suppose?) In my moment to accept this position, I would like to thank my class, my friends, and especially not my family, for shaping me to become the person I am today. It’s because of you that I am now able to correct the grammar and spelling, and embellish the writing, of my peers. Thank you to all of my two whole fans out there, I wouldn’t be here without you. To end with a quote I hold dear to my heart: “It happens every time. They all become blueberries.” – Willy Wonka

Emma Ready

Hi, I’m Emma. I’m a Year 13 student from Mansfield. I joined the Collegien because I really love to edit. The process of enhancing other peoples wonderful ideas by adding finishing touches is incredibly fun. In terms of my life outside of school, I have been learning guitar for 5 years, and have been doing musical theatre for what I guess to be about 4. Being apart of the LGBTQ+ community I really enjoy meeting other queer people, so if you have specific pronouns you want me to use for you just let me know! As fun as it can be to meet people, I struggle a lot with socialising due to being on the Autism spectrum. This has made me quite literate and able to articulate my writing ideas well, however I may come across as awkward or even disinterested in conversation, which is never my intention, and all I ask is for some patience when it comes to things like having to introduce myself one on one or work in groups 🙂

Zara Nicholson

Hiii I’m Zara and I’m a Year 13 from Batten. I decided to join the Collegian this year because I wanted to branch out and try something new for my final year at Macleans. I’m excited to see what this year brings!   

Shafquat Tabeeb

Howdy y’all, I’m Shafquat: a proud Mansfieldian, shameless Garen-one-trick, and budding black coffee enthusiast. If that’s not enough information about me, then I’ll have you know my last name means “Doctor” in Turkish. This is despite me having zero interest in the medical field, which I think is a beautiful analogy for how well I’ve got my life together 😉 On a serious note however, this year we are lucky to have so much talent at every part of our team – be it Writers, Editors, Artists, or our reliable Website Operator. As someone who’s always been fascinated by how combinations of individual letters metamorphose into meaningful texts and ideas, I couldn’t be more thrilled to make my contribution!

Adelina Jones

Hi, my name is Adelina, I’m a year 11 hailing from Batten. As my brain works backwards for the most part, I can edit like a madman but I can never write words well for myself, and am struggling to form these sentences right now. I do enjoy analysing works and then falling down the rabbit hole of information and correlations found within connotations. I tend to be very passionate towards dumb ideas and will somehow always give my all to ensure they turn into great ideas. e.g. For every year I’ve done speeches, (a whole of two) I’ve made my topic ‘Anime’ and something about it. I’ve passed with high grades. I made an AI robot design for a product design class based on psychological torture methods to help students study while making it cute nonetheless, that developed into an actually decent design that later won by some miracle.  I mainly play video games in my spare time like Genshin, Minecraft, Valorant and Google Chrome. That’s pretty much me. Nice to meet you.

 

ARTISTS

Christina Bi

Hey, just a random year 12 student that hails from Batten that has an uncommon appreciation of moths. I prefer to be called Moth online (discord) instead of my real name (I feel really weird seeing my name online). I like to play video games in my free time. Currently trying to get 100 percent achievement in Cuphead. I joined the Collegian because I heard from some people in my class that I can just draw instead of write. I very much look forward to drawing stickman cartoons for the Collegian. Please don’t make me draw anime.

Sarah Shin

Hi, my name is Sarah and I am a year 11 student from Mansfield. I like to play soccer, I used to play soccer in the team fencibles. I still play soccer but due to my leg injury I had to quit playing in a team. I applied for the Collegian as an artist because I like to sketch/draw/paint in digital art. 

Phoebe Yang

Hi, I’m Phoebe, a year 12 from Batten who goes by they/them pronouns. I like to study and occasionally play video games. I’m part of the casting crew for the Macleans Esports Club, you can find some League of Legends games I’ve casted on the Macleans Cast 3 twitch channel. I like to draw semi-realistic portraits because anatomy, especially the hand, are difficult to draw ( I use 3D models for reference, not cheating >:c) Looking forward to doing some cool art for equally cool pieces of writing.  

Mabel Zhang

Hello! My name is Mabel and I’m a year 11 student from TK. When I quit dance after doing it for 10 years, I had two revelations: one, I would’ve much rather have spent my time drawing silly little people on the back of my maths book instead of learning what a “grand jeté en tournant” was (it’s a turning leap and it’s arguably my favourite movement) and two, I should apply for the Collegian (unrelated). So here I am, a collection of questionable decisions, missing assignments, and a determination to put into practice one of the less dance-y things I learned: to make something cool happen, you should do it with as much (maybe fake) confidence as possible. 

Serena Jiang

Howdy! Most often, I’m referred to as Serena, but i’ll never say no to a new nickname. I am a year 11 student in Rutherford. Ethnically speaking, I’m Chinese, but I can only really speak weak, broken and awkward conversational Cantonese (don’t you worry–dishonour is already on my cow, my family and all future generations). Talking to me in English will yield much better results and less frantic googling, I promise. My personality revolves around quoting cinematic masterpieces such as Cars (“Speed. I am speed.”) and The Incredibles (“Honey? Where’s my super suit?”). I’m just here to have a good time, and maybe also occasionally try to draw.

 

WEBSITE OPERATOR

Joshua Yee

“Yo, I’m Joshua – Y11, Battenite after betraying TK (no regrets)”. Classic

Now that I am in year 12, retroactively reading my last year’s bio is pretty painful. But since I am forced to make another one, here is another quirky and ironic bio. First thing to note is that my grades are seemingly in a downward spiral, so I guess I am going to have to revert to year 9 habits and try hard (don’t ask me why I studied instead of chilling I was a bit socially stunted, ok?). 

Aside from that, what else can I say? ‘s all good, man.

“Once I accepted that I am cringe, I was free to be my true self” – Buddha

“Do not kill the part of you that is cringe kill the part of you that cringes” – Buddha 

2 quotes so I can pad out the bio

 

Published on 06/05/2022. Header image courtesy Angelina Litvin on Unsplash.

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