The Student News Site of University of Chicago Laboratory High School

U-High Midway

The Student News Site of University of Chicago Laboratory High School

U-High Midway

The Student News Site of University of Chicago Laboratory High School

U-High Midway

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Student collectors develop variety of sources for passion
Eli Raikhel
Siddharth’s vast collection of Funko Pops line an LED-lit shelf in his bedroom. Collections can hold a variety of different significances to students. For Siddharth, the search for the items is his favorite part.

Every morning, senior Siddharth Misra prepares for his day. His routine includes a moment where he pauses to check in with his Funko Pop collection. The oversized heads and the big round eyes curiously gaze back at him. It’s a subtle yet now an indispensable part of his daily life.

Students pursue collections for varied reasons, each reflecting the joys they derive from them. Every collection holds different meanings and roles in life — from casual hobbies to profound love.

The hunting process led Siddharth to compile his Funko Pop collection.

“Collection isn’t really the point of what I do,” he said. “At some point, probably relatively soon, I’m going to get rid of most of it, and I’m not going to be very upset, because for me it’s more about the process and search of finding ones I like than looking at the ones on a shelf.”

His collection originates from his middle school passion in Marvel movies.

“I just started collecting them for Marvel and I had 10 or 15, which is no more than like someone else might have,” Siddharth said.

As he grew interested in anime, his collection expanded, making his interests in Funko Pops grow.

“In terms of anime, there’s a lot of really expensive figures, but again, I didn’t really want to buy them. I just started expanding my Funko Pop collection,” he said. “At some point, I started looking more into how the Funko Pop system works and how they’re made and how easy it is to get and more rare ones,” he said. “Since then, I just sort of fallen into the Funko Pop rabbit hole.”

Now, the collection has become a part of his life, affecting his relationships with peers.

“They have started to overshadow parts of my life,” he said. “I have friends that are mostly because of anime, or I have a friend that I’m mostly just talking about Marvel movies with. So not the collection directly, but that subjects of them sort of does.”

For Sophomore Summer Pinc, the collection is a way to stay connected with her peers. 

Summer steps into her room, weary from the day’s challenges. She heads to her desk and on it, a radiant crystal glistens. Gazing at it, a smile slowly appears on her face, a silent appreciation for her friends.

While she began her crystal collection due to the beauty she saw in crystals, it has evolved into a set that symbolizes the strong bonds of friendship and the support she finds in these symbols of love.

Her collection began with a crystal gift from a close friend. 

“She was like, ‘Oh yeah, one more thing. Do you want this?’ I was like, ‘Oh, yeah, that’s pretty. I can put it on my bookshelf,’” she said.

This gift sparked a curiosity that soon turned into a growing collection.

“I saw one in the store a couple of days later. And then I was like, ‘Oh, that’s pretty. I have something that kind of looks like that. I’m gonna get it,’” she said. “And I also put it on my bookshelf.”

Crystals in her collection became symbols of support and care from her friends.

“I came home after a hard day. I see one crystal that’s like on my desk and my friend gave it to me when I was kind of going through a rough patch,” she said. “It’s just a nice reminder that my friends are there for me and that they care about me.”

Collections can also let people stay connected to family.

Sitting next to her grandfather, young Sierra Stacy looks through his coin collection with him. In this, she finds joy, thinking about the distinct stories each coin holds.

Her interests in coins began as a simple hobby. Soon, however, it owned more depth than just a pastime. While her interest for this collection has faded throughout time, it worked as a bridge to her grandparents.

It was her father’s words that sparked her interest in collecting, making her look through her grandparents’ collections.

“My dad told me that a silver coin from 1964 or older could be more valuable because it’s made of real silver. I don’t know how true that is. But that got me really interested,” Sierra, now a junior, said. “So when I visited my grandparents, I looked through their collections, and it was really fun.”

Soon, she started forming bonds with them.

“It especially helped me bond with my granddad on my dad’s side. He was like the first person whose coins I looked through,” she said. “He was also the one who kinda started that thing where he’d buy me a silver dollar every year because I got interested in coins.”

From personal memories to special relationships with others, collections own their own distinct power, providing warmth and comfort for students.

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About the Contributors
Edward Park, Assistant Editor
Edward Park is a member of the Class of 2025 and serves as an assistant editor. He joined the journalism staff in the 2022-23 school year as a sophomore. Outside of journalism, Edward enjoys watching sports and cooking for his family.
Eli Raikhel, Photographer
Eli Raikhel is a photographer and a member of the Class of 2025. His favorite part of photojournalism is taking pictures of school events. Outside of photojournalism, Eli enjoys playing soccer and playing with his dog.

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