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College Graduation Tattoo Ideas

One of the big motivations for getting a tattoo is a major life changing event. Therefore it should come as no surprise that many people consider getting a tattoo after being released (graduating) from college, university, or other post-secondary institution. But alas, after four (or more) years of cramming over your course load you’re at a loss for how to best represent this important turning point. Don’t sweat it – that’s what we’re here for, with some solid ideas to help celebrate your achievement, in ink.

6 Fun Tattoo Concepts to Celebrate Your Recent Graduation

1. Grad Cap

The defining moment of a college/university graduation ceremony is the toss of the tasseled grad cap. The literal crown of your crowning achievement makes for a great design, and will work well as a small tattoo on practically any part of your body. Add “Class of 20##” (insert year accordingly) to the design for good measure, and you’ll have a memory you can look fondly upon for decades to come.

2. Alma Mater / School Name

If your university experience was pretty epic and you’re especially proud of your alma mater, then wear it with pride. Canada’s post-secondary names may not have the same mainstream panache as some of the IVY institutions across the border (HARVARD, PRINCETON, COLUMBIA, etc) but our universities’ abbreviations hang with the best of them and work great as big bold lettered tattoos, including SFU and UBC to name a few locals. Plus, this is certainly a much cooler way to represent your alma mater later in life, when compared to those who refuse to let go of their old and faded school sweaters, a la Andy of The Office (Cornell).

3. Fraternity/Sorority Letters

This is an obvious one for those of you who thrived through fraternity or sorority life. Wear your allegiance on your sleeve with a greek-lettered tattoo that will keep you connected to your brother or sisterhood. This also makes for a great addition to this growing list of reasons to get a group tattoo, and coming in as a crew may even get you a discount at a local parlor.

4. Your Team

If you were a part of your institution’s athletic program, playing university level basketball, football, volleyball, and so forth, you may have become a part of another kind of brotherhood/sisterhood that will persist as a kinship for the rest of your life. A team’s logo is a turnkey tattoo design that you can take to your local tattooist for immediate application.

5. Your School’s Motto

Every college/university has a motto. Some are deeply inspirational and meaningful, and work as a tattoo on many levels. Others, not so much. Here is a list of Canadian university mottos ranked by worst to best. If yours lands in the top ten you may have found what you’re looking for. Pick a font and get it done!

6. Your Major

This one is dedicated to those of you who committed to a major, stuck it out, and plan on making a career out of what you learned during the tenure, assuming that you’re passionate about it (if not, do something else before it’s too late). Not only is this a great way to show enthusiasm for your future profession, it may even help you get a job in said field and can be used to promote your personal brand should you be looking to take the entrepreneurial route. View more on how a tattoo can actually help you professionally.

There is very likely a symbol that represents your major/vocation which makes for an awesome tattoo design. Let’s consider a few examples:

  • Law students – Scales of justice, or gavel
  • Medical students – Caduceus (winged rod with twisting serpents representing the medical profession), or stethoscope
  • Science students – Favorite (personally relevant) symbol from the Periodic Table of Elements
  • Philosophy students – Favorite philosopher quotation
  • Business students – Rising stock chart, or bull (as in market)
  • Communications students – Employment insurance benefits contact number (kidding!)

Do you have a grad ceremony coming up and want to mark the special occasion with a tattoo? If you reside within or are visiting the Greater Vancouver BC or Toronto ON area, contact a studio near you for a consultation.