Things to Consider Before Getting a Tattoo in College

I got my first tattoo right before Thanksgiving break, 2017, at 19 years old. It’s a small star on the left side of my right wrist: the same star that I wear as a charm on a necklace every day. I’ve wanted a tattoo ever since I was little, and over time I began considering more heavily exactly what I wanted and where. Here are some questions I asked myself, and eventually answered, before finally getting inked:

How will my parents/ role models feel about me getting a tattoo? Sure, I’m technically “an adult,” but my parents are still my parents and I hate disappointing them. I also have a lot of role models in my life who aren’t too sold on the idea of permanently marking your body as a form of art. I made sure that my tattoo would be in a respectable place and small enough to hide. Luckily, my parents were accepting of my decision, but if you have particularly strict parents or care about their input on tattoos, consider discussing this with them first.

 

What if my tattoo looks bad after I get it? Obviously, I wanted to avoid this potential outcome by all means. I actually went to two different tattoo parlors before committing to one artist. I chatted with artists who told me they couldn’t do anything so small because the ink would bleed into a blob over time (which terrified me!). The last tattoo artist is the one I committed to because he reassured me he’s done tattoos smaller than what I wanted, that he does especially well with small, detailed work, and showed me plenty of pictures of his past work. I felt like I had done my fair share of research by this point and decided to commit to Nashville Ink.

What if I hate my tattoo when I’m older? I haven’t even had my tattoo for a year, but I can assure you that I am far from hating it! The choice of whether or not to get a tattoo is yours, and tattoos are very personal, sentimental ways of expressing yourself. This star charm which my tattoo is a replica of is one of the most valuable items I own. It carries a lot of emotional significance that I won’t get into, but I knew that it was something I wanted with me for the rest of my life. If there’s a design that you feel strongly about, or something you’re especially passionate about, and you’ve just been waiting for a sign to get that certain something tattooed on you forever—here’s your sign!

As of now, I don’t regret my tattoo at all. I know that our opinions and beliefs as humans shift as we get older, but I also know that as long as I keep the meaning behind my tattoo in mind, I’ll never be afraid to show off my star and tell people all about it.

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I'm from the island of Nantucket, Massachusetts and came to Belmont because I find Nashville oh so dreamy. You can find me listening to an odd mix of Taylor Swift's "Reputation" and the alternative/indie songs on my of-the-month Spotify playlist. I'm a barista at a small coffee shop on Nantucket, and I love coffee, dogs, knitting, long walks on the beach, and, of course, The Office.

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