By Jennah Kelley

 

Why do college students in northern Minnesota get tattoos?

Jessica

jessJessica Patterson was in a fire accident in high school that burned forty percent of her body. She’d always wanted a tattoo, but she wanted a really good reason to get one. She says faith and hope helped her get through her horrible accident. Today, only about twenty-five percent of her body is scar tissue. The butterfly on her neck is for the year she was born, and the Phoenix on her hip is a symbol of her rising from the ashes.

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andrea

andrea2Andrea Nadeau is very nerd-approved in her choice of an iconic Harry Potter tattoo. “The Always one just means, to me, that there will always be someone who cares and who would be there for you.” Her second tattoo doesn’t hold any less personal meaning. The symbol is called a triskelion that represents “Who I was, who I am, and who I will be.”

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barryKeith Stephens got this tattoo in memory of his friend Manry, who died  in an automobile accident at the age of seventeen. He got the tattoo for free and plans to add on to it when he can to further honor and remember his friend.

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Brit

Brit2Brittani Klemish loves Disney with all her heart and wanted to show it on her shoulder, so she got the “Hakuna Matata” tattoo on top. She struggled with depression in high school,  so her second tattoo reminds her to always “Smile ’till the end.”

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dan2Dan Bossel’s love of music has been the inspiration for both of the tattoos above. The top is the cover of the first demo album put out by his band, and the bottom was to commemorate his first Ozzfest. “My tattoos are like photos. They remind me of important moments in my life.”

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samSamantha Hosch’s grandmother used to tell her she must persevere, living with the fact she would never walk unassisted because of her cerebral palsy. After Samantha survived getting hit by a car speeding through the cross walks of BSU at 40 miles an hour, she decided she wanted a permanent and ever-present reminder to keep going no matter what life throws at you.

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AreilAriel Mathre took an apprentice tattoo artist up on the offer of a twenty dollar tattoo. “I always wanted a classy bird.”

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manda5Amanda Brunsberg tattoos remind her to be strong in bad times, to remember the good, and to commemorate her faith. And given the chance, who wouldn’t want to tell society, “Kiss my ass”? She just stepped it up a notch. Yep, that’s where those lips are.

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StephStephanie Serres got these tattoos to encourage her wanderlust. She wanted them facing her so she could look down and remember that she loves to travel and see the world.

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rachelRachel Munson loved playing with salamanders as a little girl. Unfortunately, not understanding that they breathe through their skin, she actually smothered them to death with love and affection. She got this tattoo as a reminder to be kind, and as a tribute to all her fallen playmates. The salamander’s name is Lamar Tsar.

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starAshley Johnson has heart and star tattoos that were just for fun and because, come on, they’re pretty! The flower on her leg is a tattoo she, her mother and grandmother all got together to bind the three generations. She chose the most recent tattoo, which is the quote on top, because Peter Pan was her favorite movie growing up and still is to this day. The Pan quote also helps her remember all her family and loved ones that have passed away.

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JennaJenna Long got this tattoo as the angsty move of rebellion, but is wasn’t just to prove that she can do what she wants with her life and body. To Jenna, the cross, heart and anchor represent faith, hope and love.

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MeganMeagan Brault has a willow tree on her back as a symbol of weathering the storms in life. The willow sheds branches it doesn’t need throughout its life, and stands firm through all the seasons. The Celtic knot at the base of the tree is for her marriage—her husband has one on his chest. The Latin words mean “While I breathe, I hope.” The cross and the quote represent the constant presence of music and faith in her life. Lastly, in the tattoo on her collar bone, the five black birds represent the five babies she and her husband have lost, the bird not yet filled in is the hope that they will have a child in the future, and the heart shows that “they will always be loved and never forgotten.”

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corryKori Flowers went with an aunt, who has a tattoo of Roadrunner, to get this adorable bespectacled owl. The love of birds must run in the family. The fact that the owl is holding a scroll is a nod to Kori’s own quest for knowledge and her being a writer. The owl’s name is David.

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Jennah Kelley is a creative writing major with two tattoos and plans for more.