Puberty is weird. It’s one of those things that, growing up, you hear a lot about–you whisper about who has and hasn’t gone through it yet, read about it in a seemingly endless selection of puberty-preparation books, and learn about in class, hopefully, if your school provides a sex-ed class–but it seems that all the information discussed is basically the same. You know that, as a girl, your body starts getting fuller. You start getting boobs. You grow hair in weird places. You get your period.
These are facts that, while obviously important to know about, aren’t really new–if you’ve ever so much glanced at The Care And Keeping Of You, you’ll know them all by heart, probably. So, no matter how much you and your friends talk about puberty, or how many books you read on the subject, or how much you just think about it in general, there are some things that you won’t really be prepared for. Looking for some non-regurgitated information? Check out these things that no one tells you about going through puberty:
You'll Be Sweaty AFWhen I was in fifth grade, my teacher sat our whole class down at the end of the day and said, "Listen, guys. It's starting to smell very funky in here. You all need to be wearing deodorant now." This was her gentle way of telling us that we were all growing up--during puberty, your sweat glands get larger and more active, causing you to sweat more. It's not a big deal, obviously, just something to be aware of (before one of your teachers makes you aware of it). Image source:iStock
Puberty Doesn't Just Mean Your PeriodGetting your period is often viewed as the ultimate sign that puberty is here for you, but usually a lot of stuff that might not seem super puberty-adjacent happens before then. So, while your period is a definite sign of puberty, there's definitely stuff you should be looking out before then--other things to look out for before your period are suddenly growing a lot, gaining some weight in your upper arms, thighs, and back, and getting a narrower waist. Image source:iStock
Your Period Won't Be Regular Right Away (Or Ever, Possibly)Expecting a nice, easy, 28-day-cycle? Don't. Your period will most likely be extremely wonky for about one or two years, then it'll get more regular. Don't count on this, though--lots of girls find that that their periods never become fully regular (which is actually totally fine, in most cases). Image source:iStock
Things Happen In A Weird OrderIt would be great if puberty was, like, an overnight process. It's not, though, so things happen, um, disjointedly. You might find that you start getting pubes, then you grow a lot (but only your arms and legs, so you feel like a spider), then you start getting acne, then you get boobs. It's exhausting and it feels weird, but don't worry--everything will catch up to each other. Eventually. Image source:iStock
You'll Feel Different From All Your FriendsThe one thing to understand about puberty is that it's disorganized-- not only is it weird about your body, it's weird about the times that it hits everyone else too. Puberty can start in girls anywhere between the ages of eight to seventeen, which means that everyone i your squad is probably in a different part of puberty. People will tell you that it isn't a big deal, but it feels weird, and it's hard not to feel self-conscious about your body when everyone else's body seems to be doing something different than yours. The good news? Chances are that all of your friends are also feeling weird about their bodies, so they aren't paying attention to yours. Image source:iStock
You'll Be An Emotional TrainwreckOkay, "trainwreck" might be a little dramatic. But when you start puberty, your estrogen levels shift, causing mood swings. This is basically when you feel happy one minute and sad the next and angry the next and excited the next and--you get the idea. So, if you're starting to feel a little freaked by some emotions you're not used to, don't worry--it's your hormones. Blame them! Image source:iStock
It's Okay If You Don't Love Your New Body All The TimePretty much every puberty book and manual advises you to love and accept your new body. This is good advice, obviously--self-love is important!--but it might not happen right away. Having new boobs and new hips and new hair on your body can be weird, so it's fine if you're not totally obsessed with it from the start. The best way to start loving your new body is to get to know it--looking at yourself in the mirror, trying to focus on new things that you really do like about yourself--and then take it from there. It'll happen eventually if you don't try to force yourself into it. Image source:iStock
Have you gone through puberty yet? What would you tell people about it? Let us know in the comments!