5 Things to Consider Before Getting a Tattoo in College

By Ginger Simons

Recently, I decided to make the biggest life commitment a woman my age can make. No, not marriage… getting a tattoo. Like myself, many people get their first tattoos in college and it seems like nowadays, more and more people are taking the plunge and getting inked. So, if you’ve ever wondered to yourself what you would look like with a sick arm sleeve, read this before you make your first appointment.

1. Commitment

As someone who gets nervous about rearranging the furniture in my house because major changes frighten me, getting a tattoo is something I never thought I would want for myself. However, things change and though I’m very happy with my choice to get tatted, it took a LOT of contemplation. Think before you ink and make sure you’re REALLY sure you wouldn’t mind having the tattoo for the rest of your life.

2. Placement 

There’s no shame in having tattoos, so you shouldn’t feel obligated to get it somewhere where it can be easily covered up. However, depending on what career field you plan to work in, employers may look down on your ink, so it might be a good idea to get it somewhere where some long sleeves or a turtleneck can help you out during a job interview. And there are no rules for your body, of course, but… face tattoos? You should probably listen to the masses on that one.

3. Research

With tattoos, you get what you pay for, so even though the guy promising you a full arm sleeve for $100 may sound like a good deal, it’s absolutely a must to read reviews of different tattoo parlors and make sure they put out the kind of art you would want on your body. Ask some of your inked friends if they have any recommendations, do some Googling and even visit tattoo shops before deciding to get inked there.

4. Meaning (Or No Meaning)

Of course, getting a tattoo is a lifelong commitment, so some people prefer to get tattoos that have a very special meaning to them so they’re sure they’ll never get sick of them. However, there’s no shame in just getting a tattoo because you like the look of it. You don’t have to explain your choice to anyone. The important thing is that you love it.

5. It’s Your Body, You Can Do What You Want To 

Even in this day and age, not everybody is hip to tattoos. Some people believe tattoos make a person look unprofessional, trashy and even menacing. But we know better than this! Tattooing is just another art form that should be taken just as seriously as other mediums. So don’t let your nosy Aunt Kathy give you give you grief about how you’ll never get a job with a flower on your arm. You do you.

I got my tattoo done at Proton Tattoo by the lovely Erin Boyle, who specializes in  American traditional, neo-traditional, illustrative and linework tattoo styles. Among the other artists that work at this shop is Chris May, who was featured on the third season of Spike TV’s “Ink Master.” Proton Tattoo is located at 120 S 4th St.

Additionally, DeKalb Tattoo Company and Out on a Whim Tattoo have a 4.7 and 4.5 star rating on Google respectively. DeKalb Tattoo Company is located at 817 W Lincoln Hwy., and Out on a Whim Tattoo can be found at 127 E Lincoln Hwy.