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If You’re Thinking of Getting a Tattoo, This is Your Sign

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at U Mass Amherst chapter.

Ever contemplated getting a tattoo but are too nervous to commit? I’ve been there as well. The thought of having something on your body for the rest of your life is nerve-wracking. As much of a commitment as it seems, it’s equally liberating.

I had an idea of a tattoo I wanted since I turned 18 — my Hebrew name on my ribs. However, I was too nervous that I would get it and be filled with instant regret. So, I waited. A couple of years passed and I still wanted the same design. My younger brother got his first tattoo this past summer and made me realize I had definitely waited long enough. I booked an appointment the next day and was so excited.

The best thing to do when you have a tattoo idea is to bring in a stencil for the artist. This makes it easier for both of you. You’ll get exactly what you want, and the artist won’t have to come up with their own design. It’s also important to be honest. During my consultation, the artist suggested I get a bigger version of what I wanted. When he showed me the new stencil, I was transparent and said I liked the original size better. It might seem scary to be truthful with an artist because you don’t want to accidentally offend them. The fact of the matter is that they’d rather you be honest in order to be happy with the final product.

The best part of getting a tattoo is the anticipation before and the excitement after. During, however, is a different story. I have a relatively high pain tolerance and I was in the worst pain of my life. I won’t lie, it felt like I was being stabbed with a rusty nail over and over (even though the needle was perfectly clean). I was holding back tears the whole time, but my artist was reassuring and kept trying to get my mind off of it. Once it was done and I saw the final product on my body, I completely forgot about all the pain. It was 100% worth it. 

The aftercare was much easier than I expected. After a few days, it became relatively low maintenance; all I had to do was put cream on it once or twice a day. Since getting it, I have received so many compliments from friends and family. Not only is it meaningful, but it’s also in a subtle spot, which is what I wanted. At the end of the day, I got it for myself and no one else, so I don’t care too much about showing it off 24/7. (I do love wearing shirts that display it when I go out, though.) It’s also a great conversation starter! When people see the Hebrew letters and ask what they mean, I’m able to tell them a little bit about myself and my background as a Jewish woman. 

There hasn’t been a single moment that I’ve regretted getting my tattoo. It’s helpful to make sure that you’re 100% committed to it, though. Waiting a couple of years to make sure I wanted it made it that much more rewarding. So if you’re like me and have been contemplating it for some time, here’s my advice: go for it.

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Abby Champoux

U Mass Amherst '23

I'm Abby and I'm a senior psychology major at UMass! I'm also a sociology minor working toward social work and criminal justice certificates. This is my second year with HC and I love the friendly and inclusive environment of it.