Meaning behind the semicolon tattoo

Photo submitted by Bethany Seger / Special to the Times-News

Photo submitted by Jennifer Coble / Special to the Times-News

By Kaitlin Gillespie
Times-News correspondent

   In the English grammatical language, there is a small symbol known as the semicolon that is used when a writer could have ended a sentence, but chose to continue it. While to some this symbol may seem a loss of points for improper use on an English paper, there is a deeper meaning behind it for others. Project Semicolon has started a movement that wants people to realize that their sentence does not have to end and there is more to their life story.
While we just got through with suicide prevention month in September, there is never a time when teens and young adults are not facing difficult situations in some way, shape or form. The Semicolon Project has encouraged people to draw a semicolon on their hands to remind them to continue on and that these situations are not the end. This movement has taken off amongst college campuses, high schools and anywhere teens and young adults may be found. Some have even taken it to another level of reminder and got tattoos of the semicolon.
Bethany Seger, a Western Alamance High School graduate, is a firm believer in the semicolon project and says it is “a representation that, though I tried to end my story, it wasn’t meant to end there.”
Seger is currently a Marine and says she got the tattoo as a reminder “that I am stronger than my past.” Jennifer Coble and Kimberly Freeman are also supporters of the Semicolon Project and say that it is “a visible reminder that sometimes you just need to pause and breathe when everything around you is chaotic.”
People, no matter the age, face the struggle of feeling overwhelmed, like depression is drowning them, or like there is nothing that is worth going on for. The Semicolon Project is a reminder that no one is alone in the daily struggle known as life. While not everyone will choose to draw a semicolon or get it permanently inked upon their skin, it is a beacon for others to see a symbolic reminder of unity that no matter the situation, the story is not at an end.
For more information or photos of The Semicolon Project, please visit

 Kaitlin Gillespie is a sophomore at Western Carolina University and a Teens & Twenties writer.


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