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Tattoos can be scary as hell, but justifiably so — just imagine a hot needle digging into your skin for minutes, or even hours, on end. (That’s how I like to describe it to other people.) I’ve never been one afraid of needles, yet it’s hard to deny the fear one experiences before a tattoo. Even so, why would people torture themselves under the needle for decades if it wasn’t for that ounce of lifetime satisfaction? And so begins one of the many rites of passage into adulthood: getting a tattoo.

Making the call for a consultation is a feat I can’t believe I accomplished, especially as someone with self-proclaimed “phone anxiety.” (I will try and look for every way to avoid making a phone call, ever.) However stressful it was though, it also brought a glimpse of excitement into what would eventually become one of my most treasured decisions. I tried to sleep as well as I could the night before, but I couldn’t help myself from holding onto that one part of my brain that thought maybe, just maybe, this was a mistake. Though of course, with the reminder of an $80 deposit, there was no backing out.

Deliberately choosing a spot on my body that would be the least painful along with picking a design with little to no shading became my complete motivators in the forty-five minute commute to the parlor. When I entered, the heavy metal blasting through the speakers did little to calm my nerves. In all honesty, none of it became real until the stencil was placed over my skin. With my arms held awkwardly behind my back, I looked in slight awe of the potential product. 

To spare the grisly details, it actually wasn’t that bad. Again, think of a hot needle digging into your skin. So not unbearable but also not very comfortable. They booked me for an hour and a half, so I felt a little apprehensive when my artist said she was finished after fifteen minutes. But, one week later with no negative reactions, all I can say is fingers crossed for no unwarranted rashes and a smooth-sailing aftercare. 

While I could talk endlessly about my tattoo’s meaning and sentimental value, I think that’s a story to tell another time. So here I am with a (fairly) illegible word and two flowers going down my thigh. And the best part? I’m up for getting another…so long as I’m down to spend another $120.

Sreya is a third-year combined computer science and business major. Prior to being Campus Correspondent/Editor in Chief from 2020-2021, she was an editor for Northeastern's chapter. Besides being part of Her Campus, she's also in HackBeanpot and Scout. She spends most of her free time watching cringy reality shows, scrolling through Twitter, and going to concerts.