A Permanent Reminder On A Temporary Body

A Permanent Reminder On A Temporary Body

My tattoo wasn't "just because," and that means something.
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When my sister passed away in 2004 at the far too young age of four, my heart broke. Although I was still young myself, the memory of her life still flooded my mind. She loved nachos and mac n'cheese. Her sass exceeded mine, which I didn't think was possible. Her little glasses were almost always crooked. She had the sweetest soul and the kindest heart. In the days, months, and years following her death, we remembered our beautiful brown-eyed girl in various ways. We celebrated her birthday with massive plates of cheesy nachos and strawberry shortcake. On Christmas Eve, we dotted her grave with little candles that shone brightly in the dark and snowy cemetery. My mom wrote a book to tell the story of our Hannah Marie, in order that we might not forget even the smallest detail of her short life.

Almost thirteen years later, Hannah's life seems to be a somewhat distant memory in the past. Momma's book sits dusty on the shelf, still full of meaningful words, but only to be pulled out and read on the anniversary of our baby girl's death. We remember her less often, as life moves on and the love of our family has partially filled the hole in our hearts. I don't want to forget my sister; I don't want there to be a day that goes by that I don't think about her long brown hair and the way she smiled with those ridiculously crooked teeth. To me, the best way to remember Hannah is no longer with a bouquet of flowers or a quick glance at her picture sitting on my nightstand. I love those memories but I want something more, something permanent.

A tattoo marks the body forever. It symbolizes a form of commitment through carefully drawn lines of black ink. To some, this is terrifying or even offensive, because once the needles push the ink into your skin, there's no going back. The lines, words, or pictures won't be removed; they will remain a part of your body even until you're old and wrinkly. To me, there are few things more unforgettable than a tattoo, which is why I chose this as my way to commemorate the four joy-filled years that my baby sister lived. Now, every morning when I'm getting dressed, I can turn my head to the mirror and see a reminder on my back of the mark Hannah left on my life. The date of her death is printed in small letters across the curve of an infinity shape, symbolizing a little girl who is forever in my heart and always has my back.

I know that choosing to permanently mark my body is a decision that some will disagree with -- that's usually the verdict with tattoos. I do it not because I want to fit in with the trend or because I was drunk one night and decided to make a random rash decision with my friends. I tattoo my body because there will be a day when I am placed in the ground for my body to no longer exist. My time on earth is only temporary, so what is stopping me from remembering the ones I love with a deep lasting memory?

Life is short, and I want to remember those who lived, loved, died, and continue to live on in my heart.

Cover Image Credit: Personal Image

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50 One-Liners College Girls Swap With Their Roomies As Much As They Swap Clothes

"What would I do without you guys???"
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1. "Can I wear your shirt out tonight?"

2. "Does my hair look greasy?"

3. "We should probably clean tomorrow..."

4. "What should I caption this??"

5. "Is it bad if I text ____ first??"

6. "Should we order pizza?"

7. *Roommate tells an entire story* "Wait, what?"

8. "How is it already 3 AM?"

9. "I need a drink."

10. "McDonalds? McDonalds."

11. "GUESS WHAT JUST HAPPENED."

12. "Okay like, for real, I need to study."

13. "Why is there so much hair on our floor?"

14. "I think I'm broke."

15. "What do I respond to this?"

16. "Let's have a movie night."

17. "Why are we so weird?"

18. "Do you think people will notice if I wear this 2 days in a row?"

19. "That guy is so stupid."

20. "Do I look fat in this?"

21. "Can I borrow your phone charger?

22. "Wanna go to the lib tonight?"

23. "OK, we really need to go to the gym soon."

24. "I kinda want some taco bell."

25. "Let's go out tonight."

26. "I wonder what other people on this floor think of us."

27. "Let's go to the mall."

28. "Can I use your straightener?"

29. "I need coffee."

30. "I'm bored, come back to the room."

31. "Should we go home this weekend?"

32. "We should probably do laundry soon."

33. "Can you see through these pants?"

34. "Sometimes I feel like our room is a frat house..."

35. "Guys I swear I don't like him anymore."

36."Can I borrow a pencil?"

37. "I need to get my life together...."

38. "So who's buying the Uber tonight?"

39. "Let's walk to class together."

40. "Are we really pulling an all-nighter tonight?"

41. "Who's taking out the trash?"

42. "What happened last night?"

43. "Can you help me do my hair?"

44. "What should I wear tonight?"

45. "You're not allowed to talk to him tonight."

46. "OMG, my phone is at 1 percent."

47. "Should we skip class?"

48. "What should we be for Halloween?"

49. "I love our room."

50. "What would I do without you guys???"

Cover Image Credit: Hannah Gabaldon

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Being An Underdog Is A Hard Pill To Swallow, But It's The Best Victory You'll Earn

Be prepared to be underestimated and to turn heads.

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In the past few years, I have noticed l have been labeled as an underdog, even if the direct term wasn't always used to describe me. Whether it was running for officer positions or in life in general, I have been an underdog.

According to Merriam-Webster Dictionary, an Underdog is:

a loser or predicted loser in a struggle or contest.

When I first came to this realization, that people considered me an underdog in things, I felt embarrassed and hurt. People underestimated me; my strengths weren't on the surface. It definitely was a self-confidence killer, but as time has passed and I've thought about it before, I am proud to be an underdog.

I remember my senior year of high school when people were surprised I was selected to compete on an academic team and that I had the second highest grade in my Advanced Chemistry class.

People assumed I wasn't smart enough, and I had people chasing me down the hallway questioning what my GPA was or what my ACT score was.

Being upset, a few people made comments that I heard, and it definitely deflated my attitude about competing. It seemed that hardly anyone believed I was capable of being smart because I wasn't in the top 10% of my class or maybe because I wasn't vocal about how challenging my classes were. I worked hard, always trying to better myself, and hoping to achieve my goals, no matter if it was academic or personal. Even if some of my classmates didn't see the potential in me, my chemistry teacher did and the took a chance on me. Sometimes being quiet and focusing on the work you have been given, takes you off people's radar of achieving success.

Underdogs are all over pop culture and in history.

Whether it was Average Joe's from the movie "Dodgeball," David against Goliath in the Bible, or during March Madness when that one team no one expected to do well and then they wreck everyone's brackets.

My personal favorite underdog is Alex Karev from "Grey's Anatomy."

He came from a not stable or safe home when he was young, had to work, fight, and sometimes lie to become the doctor he is now. When he first came to work at the hospital, he was not on people's radars of success and not a favorite character in the TV Show, but slowly you became to love Karev and hope he keeps reaching for the stars. Being an underdog might mean you face uphill battles, doubts, and shocked faces, but those moments will motivate you to do more and be more. They are the people or teams, once they start being successful, you cheer for in hopes that the underdog will win. The concept that "everyone loves an underdog" comes this, but in the end, success, whether you are an underdog or not, can bring people hating you on the flip side.

Realizing you are an underdog can be a hard pill to swallow, but I realized this is one of my strengths. I have learned to fight for what I believe in, work harder than ever before, and to brush myself off and keep moving if I fail. Being an underdog, I have experienced the rollercoaster of emotions you have while competing. I have experienced the crushing feeling of being underappreciated and the extreme high of achieving your dreams. If you are labeled as an underdog, feel proud of yourself. Not everyone may see your strengths, but the people who matter will. As long as you believe in yourself and remember who you are, you will continuously succeed, no matter the outcome, and surprise the world.

Cover Image Credit:

Corrine Harding

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