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I was never really that into tattoos and growing up, my parents always spoke really negatively about them. They said I would regret having tattoos when I got older and my skin got more wrinkled. It was kind of a silly reason to swear off tattoos, but I believed my parents for a long time until I was 18. I started wanting a tattoo because I realized that they had meaning. It was more than just permanent ink on your skin; it was memorable art.

Celina Timmerman-Overalls Tattoos And Stripes
Celina Timmerman / Her Campus

Being a cancer survivor, I really wanted to do something to celebrate my achievement and honor those who were still battling cancer. Therefore, my first tattoo reads out “Hope” with a ribbon for the “o” on my ankle. The ribbon is lavender for Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, the type of cancer I battled. It took me a long time to pick out the design, but I ultimately decided on “hope” because hope was all I had at the time when I was fighting cancer. I was constantly hoping that my life would get better. I still sometimes look at my tattoo whenever I am going through a hard time to remind myself that it will get better.

Hope Tattoo
Caitlyn Somers

I got my other tattooo last winter break. For about two years now, I have been struggling with severe depression and self-harm. I always hated to admit that I was having a hard time, so I hid my cuts and emotional baggage from almost everyone. I was ashamed that I had cut myself and worried that people would notice and think differently of me. I decided to get a tattoo that said “F;ghter” on my wrist where I used to cut myself. Now every time I feel like hurting myself, I can look down at my wrist and have a reminder that I am strong and can fight the urges. I put the semi-colon for the “i” in honor of suicide awareness.

Fighter Tattoo
Caitlyn Somers

My tattoos are so special to me and I do not regret them one bit. I am not planning on getting any more tattoos at the moment, but if I come up with something significant I will definitely get it tattooed. Personally, I think people’s tattoos should mean something to them. Tattoos are a great way to acknowledge life-changing events or just something important to you.

Caitlyn is a 4th-year student at UCLA! She is majoring in English and minoring in film. When she's not busy writing, she loves going to hot yoga classes and reading Jane Austen novels.
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