By Katie Pfotzer | Echo
It usually starts spontaneously.
Maybe it is like that on all college campuses or just in little towns like Upland. People sit around thinking up things to do. Some settle for a competitive game of Ukrainian Uno or a watch party of every Noah Centineo movie on Netflix.
Others decide to get a piercing.
Riding high off of a Spring Break camping trip, freshmen Jackson Bonnett and Andrew Friesen decided to keep the fun going.
"We wanted to do something very spontaneous," Bonnett said. "Some people suggested piercing our ears and after about a half an hour of convincing, we just decided to do it."
They each held an apple slice to the back of their ear, "Parent Trap" style, and let their friends pierce their ears.
Many people would probably prefer to go to a professional for semi-permanent alterations to their physical appearance. However, it is not uncommon for Taylor students to entrust this to their peers, even with something more permanent.
Freshman Joy Herbkersman began giving stick and poke tattoos out of this same state of boredom over J-term.
"One of my friends knew that I'd never given a tattoo and he was like, 'Just try it,'" Herbkersman said. "And I did."
Herbkersman is not the only tattoo artist on campus.
In fact, there is another tattoo artist in Olson Hall.
"It started a year ago over Spring Break," junior Naomi Noyes said. "I was home with a couple of my friends and we started talking about tattoos. I said I could try a stick and poke because I'd seen one of my friends do it before, but I'd never done it. I grabbed all the materials really fast and looked it up on Wikihow."
Soon, Noyes was being asked regularly to tattoo friends and acquaintances. Together with the first friend she tattooed, Noyes bought a kit on Amazon with a tattoo gun.
Noyes has an unconventional way that people pay for her tattoos.
"I started charging coffee dates for it," Noyes said. "I started getting random people asking me for a tattoo. I thought it was weird because I am tattooing you and I do not know you. So I would tattoo them and then we would schedule a time outside of that to get coffee."
Though unconventional, the system works well for Noyes.
The part she enjoys most however, is meeting people she might not normally meet.
"I would say that the tattoo business is way less about the tattoos and way more about the people."
Art brings people together. Whether that is a group already close friends or complete strangers.
Maybe that is why students will trust other students to change their physical appearance.
"Why not?" Friesen said. "If there is someone who knows what they are doing and I wanted a tattoo, I do not see why I would not get one."
Go for it, buddy. Then take them to coffee.