Editorial: Millennials prove to lack patience

A situation alarmingly familiar to any Millennial: a Wi-Fi connection lost, the next episode of “Orange is the New Black” buffering, an angry teenager smashing a laptop keyboard searching for a purpose (and wireless Internet).

Presenting “The Microwave Generation.” Instant gratification is the newest fad; impatience is all the rage. Children and young adults yearn for immediacy at the touch of a button.abby editorial

Dating is no longer a laborious process, as flirting is accessible with a swift slide into someone’s messages, a stark contrast against past generations’ suitors performing calculated moves for long periods of time. Rising musical artists and DJs crank out mediocre, sonically saturated tunes faster than they can say “new single,” designed to please the masses. Everything is just a click away, and according to America’s youth, that’s the way it should be.

Millennials are often the butt of a generational joke. But they should not be underestimated. Contrary to popular belief, they have not tainted society with their presence. In fact, the 21st century has been fruitful with accomplishments that would not exist without Millennials, including same-sex marriage. Today’s youth is intelligent and both culturally and politically aware, fighting political apathy with a log onto Twitter to live-tweet a presidential debate. They are on the front lines for change, utilizing the technology that has been placed in their hands to fight injustice in different communities of minorities. Race and police brutality became a worldwide issue with the help of a hashtag (#BlackLivesMatter) and the Syrian refugee crisis was brought to 4.6 million followers on the Instagram account @HumansofNY, where creator Brandon Stanton went to Syria to document and ultimately help fund multiple refugees with a crowd-funding link to donate. It is inspiring to see a new group of young adults grab life by its horns with a zest for social progress, all while clutching an iPhone in hand.

With that said, this emerging behavior is breeding society into restless human beings, but Millennials don’t know any better. They are born and bred into a generation of rapid receipt of information and entertainment; it’s hard not to blame them. This thought process is created with a more connected environment. Children hold and navigate iPhones before they can read the alphabet, immediately weaving new relationships between them and the efficiency of an industrialized, technological world. These connections are the only form of communication that today’s adolescents have been exposed to. Old habits die hard, especially when they’re clad in shiny colors and are preloaded with new episodes of “House of Cards.”

The pleasure of the process is one worth basking in. If today’s youth demands everything immediately, there is no fight. No accomplishment to wear proudly after a series of losses. A reward is more satiating if earned after a cycle of successful and unsuccessful attempts, no matter if that reward is a quickly loading Netflix episode or a new relationship blossoming on the promise of patience.

Convenience is not futile; it should definitely be clutched and appreciated. But in a world where restlessness is advancing, it is important to remember that patience is a virtue. It teaches empathy, generates a positive attitude, and makes gratification all the more satisfying. So, the next time a journey presents itself as an opportunity: don’t take the shortcuts. In the end, it’ll be just as rewarding as finishing a season of “Parks and Recreation” on Netflix.

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In My Opinion: Senioritis is inevitable after years of stress



I’m not much of a runner, but I’ve been competing in the longest marathon of my life: high school. As I reach the last semester of my senior year, I see the finish line glistening less than a mile ahead of me, I can hear the cheers of those waiting to see me finish and yet even with such a short distance left, I know it’s not over. I know that these last few yards still matter, but why do I have to run to get there? After three and a half years of working as hard as I possibly could, why is it so bad to walk the rest of the way?

A couple months ago, I was accepted into my dream school, Northwestern University, early decision. Ever since my acceptance, countless friends and family members have asked when I’m going to stop studying for tests and completing my homework. I thought I would never fall victim to the senioritis plague, but every time I crack open a textbook to study for one of the many assessments I have every week, I can’t feel the same motivation that I used to in school. It’s not that I don’t care about my grades anymore, but after three and a half years of endless studying and minimal hours of sleep, there’s not much fuel left in my tank to give my last semester of high school my all.

Now I’m not saying that every senior should get senioritis and I am certainly not encouraging it. However, I think that senioritis is a normal and healthy reaction to years of pressure to build the perfect college resume. Balancing loads of AP classes with extracurricular activities certainly can put a strain on any student.

As more AP and AICE classes are added to the Bay’s curriculum, the stress that students face has built up, and the need for time to relax becomes even more prevalent. A 2009 survey conducted by the American Psychological Association found that nearly half of all teens, about 45 percent, said they were stressed by school pressures. In fact, high school teens have been reported to feel more stressed out than adults. According to “The Huffington Post” while adults rate their stress at a 5.1 on a 10-point scale, teens rate their stress levels at 5.8, which far exceeds the healthy stress level of 3.9.

The amount of stress put on students makes catching senioritis inevitable. It is also reported that 31 percent of teens report feeling overwhelmed as a result of stress, 30 percent say that they feel sad or depressed as a result of stress, and 36 percent report feeling tired or fatigued because of stress.

Of course it is important for seniors to not give up completely. They should still work to pass all the of their classes so that they can maintain their college acceptances and graduate. Seniors shouldn’t just give up on their classes completely and stop doing homework; however, they should spend less time stressing about school and more time enjoying their last few months of high school before they have to leave for college. These last few months should be a time for self-reflection for seniors. It should be a time to avoid the stress of high school while still putting in some effort to get passing grades in their classes.

As I reach the finish line and finish my last few months of high school, I’ve realized that what is most important is being proud of the work that I’ve done. I know not to let senioritis make all those years go to waste; yet I know it’s okay if I don’t put in all of my effort when finishing the rest of high school. It’s been a hard race to run, but I know that even if I walk the rest of the way, I’ll have my head held high and look back on a race I was proud to run.

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Flash of Brilliance: Should course selection cards be sent out early?

YESFOB web- Katherine Gibson

Receiving course selection cards before the end of the year makes the entire process of creating a schedule for the next year much more efficient. By now, everyone has had the chance to experience the classes they are in. With the knowledge of how this year has gone for them, students should already know the classes they will want to take next year. If not, they always have the opportunity to make appointments with and talk to one of the many helpful guidance counselors that make sure a student’s schedule is what is best for them. Course selection is definitely something that should be taken seriously and tons of thought should go into it. However, it simply does not take a day. Deciding the classes that the students are taking next year, selecting them and getting the signatures they need takes a lot of consideration and focus, but not too much time. Selecting courses for next year won’t distract students from their other third quarter homework and responsibilities. In addition, next year an A/B schedule will be put in place. As a result, course selection cards and schedules for students will take more time and thought from the school workers creating them. The schedule will be a new format that the school is not yet accustomed to, making them more time consuming to create. Therefore, the more time they have this year to make them, the less extra time it will take in the summer and at the beginning of next year. This will be helpful for everyone because switching in and out of classes can also be figured out before the school year starts or much earlier in the year. The early completion of course selection cards is not at all a hassle for students and will provide more time for the school to create schedules that go with the new platform of classes.

-Alexa Poleo



It is unnecessary for course selection cards to be passed out to students so far in advance of the upcoming school year. During the third quarter, when course selection cards are given out, students’ main focus is on their current course load; planning next year’s schedule is not the top priority. Students also have not taken a majority of important exams such as FSAs, EOCs, and AP/AICE tests which aid teachers and students in correct placement for future classes. Also, teachers may not have had enough time to properly assess the capabilities of each student or know enough about the student to direct him or her to the proper level course. At the beginning of the school year, many students get switched out of classes because they are not well prepared or could not handle the rigor of the course they selected. This stressful situation for students, guidance counselors and teachers would easily be avoided if course cards were given out later in the year. Students would be more prepared to make decisions and would not feel the need to switch out of all their hard classes. It is essential for students to be given more time in the school year to make this important decision and to select the best classes for pursuing their interests and abilities.

-Katherine Gibson

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From my Perspective: Community service trip allows for new friendships


It took an unforgettable 12-day trip to Costa Rica to change my views on poverty completely. Through the acts of painting houses and interacting with the children, it was astonishing to see that even in a devastated community, happiness and smiles were still plastered on the faces of the people who live there.

After an early wake up call and eating breakfast we started heading to a daycare center to interact with the kids. Boarding a 10-minute bus ride and a 25-minute walk through the community, we made it to the center. When I arrived I saw many stray dogs and children running to their homes or playing games, acting unconcerned, despite their poor living conditions. The opportunity to work with the children in Costa Rica and learn about San Jose was a part of a 360 Westcoast Connection trip that was planned through the company. When arriving, the other participants and I gathered with the children in a circle and introduced us by saying our name and favorite color before playing with them. After introductions were over, the other helpers and I were split into two groups that were either painting or interacting with the kids.

In Costa Rica, it is very important for adults to find work to support their family. Typically, kids will stay at a daycare center, which lacks the help needed to keep them all entertained. As volunteers, we were asked to intermingle and work with the children through different games that helped to “break the ice.” We also created stations consisting of activities where kids could draw, color and paint. After hours of playtime, the children cooked a full meal for us as a token of appreciation toward our time with them. The gesture was heartwarming, moving and altogether delicious.

The next day, we went back to the outdoor day care and I was with the teen volunteers who were painting houses under the blazing sun. We walked a little further following the homes already decorated with different designs and reached the bland, paint-less homes. I was assigned to paint a house and decided to incorporate bright pink paint and little blue polka dots, bringing life to the dreary, worn down home. We painted for hours until we had to stop before it started raining, giving the paint time to dry.

Unfortunately we had to say goodbye to the children, but before we left we took a picture to remember the fun and laughter. We filed into a bus traveling for a couple hours until we reached a playground to play with different kids in another city. We each were paired up with one child and were told to play with them. The child that I grew to admire was an 8-year-old boy who was shy in the beginning, but in the end formed a connection with me by playing a game of soccer. After, we changed into our bathing suits and went down the slide, played leapfrog, tag and attacked each other in the water. The kids were laughing and having a blast enjoying each other’s company.

Everyone was having fun when I noticed my new friend was hungry. He decided to buy us cookies from his own money. I remember following him to the counter to ask the man how much money the cookies cost and then buying me some. I didn’t ask for a cookie but I felt really honored that he would spend his money to get something for me, even though I never requested it. I thanked him for his generosity and after throwing away the trash we went back into the water.

My buddy was really affectionate and instead of sitting across from me, he sat next to me to eat his lunch. When the time came to say goodbye, we hugged and said farewell before he went into his bus and left. This trip taught me that instead of asking for new clothes or throwing away my unfinished food, I should be thankful that I have the resources, shelter and money to sustain a normal life.

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Editorial: Anti-bullying campaigns should continue throughout year

Throughout every high school in the US, some students pretend to be “tough.” They push and shove their way through the halls. They don’t apologize or even care who they hurt.  Instead, they just demand that other students turn over their lunch money, or worse, their dignity. This type of behavior must not be allowed to continue; as a school we must come together.

On Oct. 15, Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) conducted their annual “I’m Against Bullying” campaign.  Using the social media app Snapchat, students and others were asked to use a geo-tag to share the message with everyone they could. Celebrities, including Demi Lovato and Ellen DeGeneres, tweeted and posted videos promoting the hashtag “Spirit Day.” Most of the time, however, we just post or scroll numerous messages without considering the true meaning behind the post, or even thinking about the vast resources that social media offers.

While having an “I’m Against Bullying” Campaign is a fantastic first step, just one day of “awareness” is definitely not enough.  This momentum must be broader and expanded to the other 364 days of the year.  Bullying takes place everyday and has become a widespread issue that should be stopped.

The “I’m Against Bullying” Campaign must do more than posting pictures or getting people to retweet catchy slogans and wearing purple on the third Thursday of October every year.  This is simply not enough to stand up to bullying.  Through peer counseling programs or a positive word at a key time, our fellow students must know that they are not alone. By giving our fellow students our support, they will have the confidence to report incidents to the proper authorities.

A notable case of bullying was with teenager Brittany McMillan, whose bullying case received much attention. She turned being a victim into being a victor after she realized what was going on in her life was wrong and wanted to make a change.  Since then, she started the “I’m Against Bullying” program in 2010.

According to stopbullying.gov, 20% of high school students experienced some form of bullying; this includes physical mental or cyber bullying.

Not only do people bully in person, but people also bully behind a screen. Now, rather than hiding behind big muscles, bullies hide behind their computer monitors.  “Cyber bullies” use their keyboards to type mean things to hurt others.  They post unnecessary tweets about them or even pictures of them.  Bullies even make fake profiles to hurt teens.  One example of this was Amanda Todd, who was a cyber bullying victim.  She was forced to expose herself online in a provocative manner and was personally humiliated. After posting a YouTube video describing her experience with flashcards, she could not live with the humiliation and committed suicide. Since then, over 17 million people have viewed her video, which received international attention.

The United States Center for Disease Control reports, “suicide is the third leading cause of death among young people, resulting in about 4,400 deaths per year.”

Teens need to feel safe while going to school and should not have to worry about what a bully might say or do to them. They need to be aware of a safe environment and this can be accomplished by defending others when witnessing bullying.  Being a bystander is just as bad or worse than being the bully.  If we just watch these situations, they will keep repeating themselves.

If we “Stand Up Against Bullying” every day instead of just once a year, there will hopefully be change.  Wearing purple for one day is not enough to take a stand against bullying; people need to start taking more of an action every day to end bullying once and for all.

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In My Opinion: Online gambling websites ruin sport culture



Football has become more than a sport to just watch these days.  While people still sit around the table with food and binge watch games all day on Sundays, they are not just watching to cheer on their favorite team.  They are intrigued by the risk and sometimes reward that comes with the betting aspect of football.  The exchange of money is ubiquitous, especially with the recent creations of one-week fantasy leagues through Fanduel and DraftKings, the driving forces in a multi-billion dollar industry.

These online one week “duels” are becoming increasingly popular among the younger population.  Although the age restriction requires users to be of at least 18 years of age, I don’t think it is effective.  Underage users are common because there is no way to police the age of an online gambler.  Betting in a casino, for example, is monitored by the process of checking and scanning IDs, but with these sites all users have to do is get a hold of mom or dads credit card information, tie it to their account, and agree to a consent saying they are at least 18 years old.  As a matter of fact, I see 8-year-olds walking around with their iPhones drafting their teams and setting weekly lineups.  Do they realize what they are doing?  The answer is no.  I don’t think that today’s generation of kids understand the seriousness and danger of gambling, and these sites are only worsening that problem.

Besides easy access from underage users, there is a major cause for concern regarding scandals, unfair advantages, and the close tie between these sites and the National Football League.  Recently, a DraftKings employee, who had private DraftKings data, won $350,000 in a FanDuel matchup. It is a major issue if people have inside information on how to ultimately win match-ups on the site which leads to them winning money.  These sites can also lead to potential bribing of professionals in order to change outcomes for average people.

Most online gambling is illegal, so the real question is: why are these one-week fantasy leagues legal?  Well, these sites aren’t definitively described as Internet gambling.  Professional leagues are in favor of these sites because it helps to gain more viewers and a larger “fan base.”  Furthermore, big networks are investing in these sites because their stations will get more attention.  It is a win-win for the corporation side of things, but a total loss for the culture of sports.

Sports used to be about cheering for the hometown team, or staying committed as a “die hard” fan, but that has all changed.  Now, people root for the quarterback on one team and the wide receiver on another team.  True fans are gone.  Standard fantasy leagues, such as ESPN were the start of this, but the sudden popularity of one-week fantasy leagues has taken it to a whole new level.  As a result, more than 56 million people in North America will play fantasy sports this year, up from 12 million in 2005.  These sites must be banned.

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Flash of Brilliance: Is junior year really as bad as it is said to be?

Yes junior year

Junior year consists of college visits, standardized tests, and a balance between good grades and a social life. With all of these responsibilities, the myth is proven to be true. The transition from one or two Advanced Placement (AP) classes to three or four is definitely a huge wake up call. Strained eyes, tense muscles, and countless nights of insomnia keep many juniors at the Bay stressing out and counting down the days until they are seniors. A very prominent difference between other years compared to junior year is the overbearing amount of ACT and SAT testing and the pressure of college. Junior year is known as the year that counts the most for college; therefore, these words leave an imprint on students to push themselves to try their hardest and be the best that they can be. Although some students can maintain a balance between their responsibilities, other students find it harder to multitask and get everything done. At the end of the day, junior year has definitely earned its reputation of being the most stressful.

-Franki Rosenthal



High school is a time to work hard and succeed to try to get into the best college possible. Yes, high school is an extremely stressful and hectic part of life, but junior year is no harder than any other year. Colleges look at three components of a student’s application: class grades, test scores and extra-curricular activities. Students should be working equally as hard every year to achieve and maintain a well-rounded life. Although junior year is the year to take the SAT and ACT, this should not add on too much stress, because the dates of these tests are always on the weekend and studying should mainly be done over the summer before 11th grade. It’s very important to be able to manage time and high school gives students the opportunity to learn this skill. Time management is something that is learned in freshman and sophomore year and applied to junior and senior year as well as later on in life. So even though junior year has a lot of work, it should be manageable and feel just like all the other years of high school.

– Jenna Rabinovitch

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Suicide awareness needed in schools


Suicide is the tenth leading cause of death in the U.S. for all ages, according to Suicide Awareness Voices of Education (SAVE). There is one death by suicide in the U.S. every 13 minutes. Suicide takes the lives of more than 38,000 Americans a year.

September is Suicide Awareness Month. Accordingly, many organizations are fundraising and working together to promote and advertise the importance of suicide prevention.

However, schools are not doing enough to call attention to this important issue.tl-opinion-suicide-awareness-needed-in-schools-001

“Unfortunately, we do not do enough here at our school for suicide prevention, and over the last several years, we have had several students who have committed suicide,” said AP Psychology teacher David Geller. “We need to make students more aware that there are people and resources available to them.”

Because suicide is the “elephant in the room,” schools would much rather have parents worry about their student’s mental health.

“With the increase of more and more students being diagnosed with bipolar disorder and depression, and many times they’re being misdiagnosed, more has to be done,” Geller said. “But the school board and the people in government would much rather push mental health aside and focus on testing.”

Geller said students’ rigorous schedules and course loads definitely contribute and are a link to depression.

“I think seven academic classes puts more pressure and anxiety on the student, and that can lead to depression and even suicidal thoughts: ‘I’m not good enough to make the grades,’ ‘I’m not good enough to go to college,’ ” he said.

Guidance Counselor Rosa Mazzocca said suicide is becoming more prevalent in society; therefore, schools need to implement preventive education.

“Schools need to increase awareness due to the fact that suicide is the third leading cause of death for people between the ages of 15-24,” she said. “Students who have been directly impacted by suicide are six times more likely to die from suicide.”

At the Bay, teachers receive a list of warning signs to look for. Guidance counselors encourage teachers to be aware of these signs.

“If a teacher or staff member has any concerns that a student is a threat to himself or herself, the student should be referred to his/her assigned Guidance Counselor as soon as possible,” Mazzocca said. “All suicide threats need to be taken seriously. Students who make suicidal comments are crying out for help. Suicidal threats and suicidal ideation are not about attention seeking.”

Junior class president Max Morales said a lot more can be done in schools for students with depression and suicidal thoughts.

“I think we need to establish a community in a spider web of love and compassion for all these students going through hard times,” he said.

Morales said that we are all humans, and it is important to look out for each other, care for each other and be there for one another.

“There is always that option to take your life. Shakespeare said, ‘We always have the key to unlock this cage of life.’ Some people take that leap over the great cliff, but others take their lives, and it’s killer, because for each time a peer or a friend does that, a part of me dies as well,” Morales said.

Sophomore Madison Jakob said it is important to be there for not only her friends, but for anyone dealing with tough situations and going through difficult times.

“I would talk to my friend and listen to what they had to say no matter what. If what they said was concerning, I would go straight to their parents and make sure they were aware of the issue,” Jakob said. “I’m always there for my friends, and I think more people need to be made aware of a problem that can affect so many. Suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem.”

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Flash of Brilliance: Are textbooks or tablets better for studying?


Mobile computers, better known as tablets, have revolutionized the way business and work is done. Recently, tablets have been apart of the discussion for replacing textbooks for students. Tablets replacing textbooks have many benefits. The biggest one is how tablets significantly reduce the amount of backpack weight related injuries in students. According to the US Consumer Product Safety Commission, over the course of one school year there were 13,700 kids who were treated for backpack-related injuries. Also, school districts spend more than $8 billion dollars a year on textbooks. With tablets, this reduces this cost dramatically because everything is digital and does not have to be physically printed. The funds saved could go to supporting clubs and improving the school. Along with saving the school money, tablets actually help the environment by saving paper. There is also an effect on the student’s learning. Students learn material much more efficiently with tablets over textbooks. According to the US Department of Education, students who are given technology-based instructions take 30-80 percent less time to reach an objective. All the benefits of tablets make them an obvious choice for school resources over textbooks.

-Jeffrey Cohen



Although the idea of switching from textbooks to tablets may seem smart and innovative, it is not worth the trouble. The main issue of using tablets is the cost because schools would have to pay for the tablet itself, the class material, Wi-Fi infrastructure and training for the teachers to learn how to use the devices. If this were considered a useful enough change by school districts the wealthy ones would make the switch, while the ones who could not afford it would stay behind, giving the wealthy districts an advantage. Even if schools could afford it, tablets are extremely unreliable. There are often technical difficulties when schools try using electronics. During the Florida Standards Assessment (FSA) testing last school year in Broward and Miami-Dade Counties, the exam was postponed because of issues involving the computers. If technology isn’t consistent enough to work during a statewide test, it shouldn’t be used for homework every night. The students, on the other hand, handle textbooks, and it is their responsibility not to lose them, rather than relying on technology to not lose the stored information. Going from textbooks to tablets is an unneeded change with no benefits and many complications.

-Drew Siskind

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From My Perspective: Permanent birthday present stays a lifelong memory


In regards to birthdays, most people would typically ask for the latest technology, new clothes or money. However, I was more interested in something a bit more permanent than an iPad or a Sephora gift-card. I talked with my mom and to my excitement; she said she would allow me to get a tattoo.

I’ve loved tattoos my whole life, and I hope to have at least one sleeve when I’m older. I’m fascinated by the intricate designs and creativity that come into play with tattoos. A lot of time and contemplation went into choosing my tattoo and the tattoo shop; considering someone would be lightly stabbing me with a bunch of needles, I wanted to check out the space in which they operate and look into their reputation as artists. Choosing something to be on my body forever required a lot of thought and perspective.

Since my mom decided she wanted to get a tattoo as well, we sought to find a subject we both liked. I searched online for inspiration and came to find a honeybee tattoo that I loved.

A week after my birthday, we went to Babylon Tattoo in Ft. Lauderdale, after already visiting once before to check it out. We showed the tattoo artists reference pictures so they could make the stencils and clean their stations before asking us to sit on the black, fold out piercing table. The tattoo artist cleaned my arm and applied the stencil.

My heart started to beat a little faster and picked up its pace. I couldn’t help but admit I was nervous. I really had no idea of what to expect apart from my mother, who now has a total of four tattoos, saying, “It’s going to hurt, it’s kind of like someone scratching you.” The tattoo artist reassured me that I would be fine and to just relax. The millisecond before the buzzing needles hit the skin on the inside of my wrist I knew exactly what it would feel like.

Tattoos hurt, unfortunately, there’s no real way to get around that. As someone with a fairly high pain tolerance, it was painful but definitely bearable. There isn’t really an accurate way to describe the pain due to the fact that it was quite unlike anything I had felt before, yet the pain was not enough to bring me to tears. Perhaps it was the relatively small size of my tattoo that enabled this, but it just didn’t hurt enough to cry.

photo 2The whole tattoo took about an hour, and in that time I chatted with the tattoo artist, asking about her first tattoo and lightly discussing what it’s like to be a tattoo artist. I browsed social media and listened to the rock music being played over the harmonious symphony of pulsing tattoo needles.

When it was done the tattooist cleaned my arm of any stray ink, applied a generous amount of Vaseline ointment and wrapped the tattoo up in plastic wrap. She informed me on the proper after-care that included avoiding submerging my wrist in water, keeping it out of the sun and cleaning it well for a few weeks.

After getting my tattoo, my wrist was sore for a few days and the whole texture of the tattoo changed. It went from rough and defined to smooth and soft, blending with the feel of the rest of my skin. The color of the tattoo lightened overall, transitioning from black and dark grey to a lighter black and grey.

This experience has absolutely gotten me hooked; any pain involved with getting a tattoo is completely worth it for me to be able to have a piece of art on my body. I’m looking forward to my next tattoos, and I am anxious to see my progress in the future. My first tattoo will always be special to me, and getting to share this moment with my mom made it even better.

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