Tatted in Thailand: student’s bamboo made tattoo means gratitude

ShelBennett

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Self expression is something that most Hilltoppers take very seriously, so it is no surprise that cool tattoos abound on St. Edward’s University campus.

From dainty stick-and-pokes to full sleeves, students at St. Edward’s offer up endless ink inspiration.

Body art, however, is not something that most people take lightly. Because of that, most of the cool tattoos around campus come with even cooler stories. Getting a tattoo is a great way to commemorate an amazing experience or to give yourself a daily reminder of something that you never want to forget. This makes a study abroad trip and ideal time to get a tattoo.

Most students are transformed after studying abroad and the semester or year they spend abroad is one that they want to remember for years to come.

Considering how many St. Edward’s students study abroad, there is, not surprisingly, lots of foreign ink on campus. St. Edward’s senior English Writing and Rhetoric major and Hilltop Views Copy Chief Kayla Sulewski got her tattoo while studying abroad in Australia and Thailand.

She got her tattoo, two swirling circles on the back of her neck, on the last day of her trip in Thailand.

The design represents gratitude; Sulewski’s inspiration for the message came from a pretty qualified source.

After meeting up with some other travellers in Thailand, Sulewski took a day trip to a Buddhist monastery. While she was at the monastery with her newfound friends, she got her fortune read by a monk. The fortunes were read by shaking a container full of numbered sticks until one fell out. The number on the stick that falls out corresponds to the shaker’s fortune.

Sulewski’s fortune stated that she would have a happy and prosperous life if she remembered to stay gracious. This spiritual experience inspired her to be more gracious in all aspects of her life. To remind herself of this goal on a daily basis, she got her tattoo before returning home.

Although tattoos may seem like a staple on St. Edward’s campus, not everyone feels as enthusiastic about them as Hilltoppers do. Some people feel that employers, professors or other authority figures will look down on people with tattoos.

There is often a stigma around tattoos that they are unprofessional and unpolished. This can lead to people with tattoos having difficulties getting respect in and out of the workplace.

However, Sulewski said that she hasn’t had this experience at all. In fact, she said that people have responded very positively to her tattoo and the amazing story behind it.