I first noticed the obvious difference in school supplies when the only pad of paper I could find either was graph paper or computer paper, neither of which I like to write notes on. I also noticed that when the native students were studying on the bus, their notes were written on paper without lines, all nice and neat, and pretty much perfect.
Then, during an exam last semester, which I was taking in pencil I might add, the proctor asked me why I was writing in pencil. I was a bit dumbfounded, of course. It seemed like a pointless questions, "um, because that´s what I write with." He then proceeded to forcefully tell me that if it were his test, he wouldn´t grade mine because it was in pencil. Luckily, our class had already cleared the use of pencil with our actual professor.
Then when talking to another classmate I found out the reason this was so beyond weird to him. In kindergarden, or when you´re young, children learn to write on lined paper so that they learn to write in a straight line, and they use pencil to erase mistakes. But by the time you´re in college and high school, you are expected to be able to write in a straight line on lineless paper, and in pen because you are not supposed to make hardly any mistakes.
So needless to say, I got with the program. I bought computer paper for note taking, which I actually like. You can fit more on a sheet. But I still like to use pencils when I can, and save the pens for an exam.