Emma Pettit is an English and Political Science major who is on the volleyball team at Villanova University.
College is a time to express yourself and explore who you really are. This could mean dying your hair a funky color, changing up your clothes, going vegetarian or vegan…or for some it means getting a tattoo. Getting inked has the potential to be awesome. A tattoo could be an intricate depiction of who a person is, or representative of a formative moment in that person’s life…but a tattoo also has the potential to be incredibly stupid. We all have those friends who have shown us their tattoo design ideas that leave us wondering about said person’s sanity. So here is a step by step guide to help those who aren’t so sure if getting a tattoo is right for them.
You’re definitely going to regret that tattoo…
If you’re drunk
Under no circumstances should you ever make life-altering decisions when you’re drunk. Ever. Period. Even if you have the cash with you, you’ve picked out a place, and all of your friends are cheering you on, you still shouldn’t do it. No one has ever made a huge, permanent choice when they were hammered and thought to themselves I’m glad I didn’t wait til I was sober.
If it can’t be easily hidden
Photo via Flixist
It’s not fun to think about life after college, getting a job, and doing actual adult-things but eventually that day will come. Someday you’re going to need to go to job interviews and look like a professional to get where you want to go. And having two full arm-sleeves of Pokemon characters and a spiderweb on your neck probably won’t make the best first impression. That being said, if you want to work in a more liberated environment (like at a tattoo parlor for example) be my guest. Get all the face tattoos you want. But most people need to look semi-professional for their jobs and that requires tattoos to be hidden. Even tramp-stamps or butt tattoos are acceptable so long as it can’t be seen in an office environment.
If it’s the name of your boyfriend/girlfriend
It doesn’t matter if the both of you are completely in love, are betrothed, and completely convinced you will stay together until the end of time. Things can change. If they do, you don’t want the name of your ex as a reminder of your failed love on your wrist for the rest of your life. Wait until you’re married (or whatever your version of marriage is)…and then wait some more because the divorce rate in this country is ridiculous and you never know what might happen.
If it’s in another language and you haven’t checked the spelling
This reason should speak for itself but if you’re getting a tattoo in another language, spell check at least three times before committing (and Google Translate does not count as spell check).
If it’s a fad
Photo via KWGN
While no person can tell you what is or is not right for an act of personal expression, there is one general rule you should follow: no fads. That means no YOLO tattoos, no hashtags, no Marilyn Monroe quotes or anything else that will die with the passing of time. If this symbol is going to be on your body forever, it should make sense and be meaningful forever.
And finally, if you haven’t investigated the place
The tattoo parlor you choose to go to should be the cleanest place you have ever stepped foot in. You should at least talk to the artist before your appointment and they need to draw up a sketch of exactly what you want. Look up reviews on Yelp and make sure to read both the positives and the negatives. Choosing the place you get a tattoo should be like choosing your partner in life, only with even more research and due diligence.