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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Rollins chapter.

Getting your first tattoo can be a nerve-wracking experience, especially considering the negative connotations older generations associate with it. I’m here to tell you that getting a tattoo is totally normal, and even four U.S Presidents had tattoos. So here’s what you really need to focus on when getting your first ink on your skin!

Pick the Right Body Part

Try to steer clear of areas where there’s less fat and solely bones for the pain. This means ribcages, wrists, and ankles are no-goes for first tattoos. Your nerves are already going to be heightened during this experience, so if the location isn’t a dealbreaker for you, try to lessen the pressure by getting your first tattoo in a more fatty place on your body.

Research Your Artist 

Whatever you do, don’t go get a stick and poke from your friend or the closest tattoo parlor in the sketchy part of town. Research tattoo places and their artists with a design already in mind. Look at their portfolios and see if they can accomplish what you want or if they have the same vision as you. This is the most important part of the process, and a good parlor won’t let you get a tattoo if you seem like you’re having second thoughts!

Don’t Take Advil or Drink Alcohol

Advil and alcohol are blood thinners and while it’s tempting to pop some before the appointment to counter the pain, it can create a mess once the needle starts poking your skin. If you’re afraid of needles and blood, definitely heed this warning because your tattoo artist doesn’t want you fainting on them!

Think On It

Don’t get a tattoo that you had your heart set on for less than twenty-four hours. This will be on you for the rest of your life, so make sure you genuinely like it. Only time will tell whether you’re in love with the design or want something else. Also, remember not all tattoos need to have a meaning as long as you like the design you’re getting. A tattoo is meant for you, so focus on what you think you want and not what others say you should get! 


Kismet Kohn is an 18 year old psychology major at Rollins College in Winter Park, Florida. She is passionate about photography, writing, and travel. Kismet was on her high school's yearbook staff as a photographer and worked as the editor of the Literary Magazine.
Meredith Klenkel is a Senior English major and the founder of Her Campus at Rollins. She aspires to write comedy for late night T.V one day and publish her own memoirs.