What does your tattoo mean to you?

‘We did it on their dining room table. He did people’s tattoos secretly because it was illegal’

As the weather slowly gets colder, we’ve started to cover up with long sleeves and coats. But hidden under the layers are tattoos inked onto the students brave enough to go against the needle.

The Tab walked around floors, bridges and stairwells and looked at everyone from head to toe in search of tattoos. We found a few proudly sporting their ink and asked what it meant to them.

Belinda, senior, English

“I wanted it in the back of my neck just because I didn’t really want to draw attention to it. It’s personal to me and I’d rather have it where no one would really notice because this is just for me.”

“There’s two reasons I got the tattoo on my neck. The first being that my middle name basically translates to wisdom and prosperity.

“The second reason is because I always want to have a reminder that there’s wisdom inside of me and that I can use the wisdom in order to help me with my school and with my life and with my personal relationships.”“I’ve been through very hard times and it’s always very comforting to have it there. When I get nervous I usually end up stroking it just to remind myself that I do have the wisdom and strength to keep going.”

Jeremy, junior, Geography

“It doesn’t really have too much meaning to me. It’s just really because I like space and I wanted to be an astronaut when I was a kid and space always interested me. I pretty much got it because I like tattoos.”

Did it hurt? 
Yeah it took five hours. It doesn’t really hurt at first, but once you’re sitting there for three or four hours and it’s drilling on your leg it starts to hurt.

How long ago did you get it?
“It’s about three or four years old.

What about your other ones? 
[Jeremy refers to his tattoo on his right arm] I have a bunch of others. This one is a sea monster eating a pirate ship. My favorite is the astronaut one so that’s why I showed it to you.

Boris, junior, Political Science

“At the end of my freshman year basically I was going through a crisis because I came out of high school thinking I knew everything in the world, turns out I didn’t.

“So this is a little reminder to just keep on learning, not just study. It’s also to keep on learning about new experiences and grasp anything from it.”
“This one I got this summer. Nautical tattoos are pretty cliché. It says ‘Find Direction’ in script. Usually to find direction the symbol is a compass and it points to north but what if I want to go south, west or east so I decided to steer myself in my own direction.”

Daniel, freshman, Psychology

“It’s from the show ‘Supernatural’. My friend was starting out doing tattoos and I wanted to help her. I didn’t know what to get and it was off the top of my head. I think it looks cool.”
How long ago did you get it? 
Back in 2013.

What does it symbolize? 
It’s like an anti-possession symbol used in the show.

Manny, sophomore, Psychology

“I was 15 or 16. It was stupid but I actually got it done by my friend’s brother. We did it on their dining room table. He did people’s tattoos secretly because it was illegal.”

“He sort of knew what he was doing but it’s still pretty ratchet. If I could go back in time I would tell myself ‘Don’t do it’ but it’s here now and I like it.”
Does it mean anything?
“It does. It’s my mom and dad’s initials in a shape of an anchor, J and E.”

Why on your wrist?
“I wanted people to see it but I didn’t want it to be too obvious so I thought it was the perfect spot. Everyone is always like ‘Oh you have a tattoo?’ and I’m like ‘I’ve had this for three years. I’ve had this longer than I know you.'”

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