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19 Puberty Lessons You Shouldn't Have To Learn The Hard Way

WHAT DO YOU MEAN, "EVERY MONTH"?

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We asked members of the BuzzFeed Community what they wish they had known before they went through puberty.

FOX / Via wifflegif.com

Here are all the things it would've been nice to know about BEFORE they happened. (And FYI: Although there is gendered language in the responses below, the struggles in this post apply to anyone who went through puberty with a vagina, boobs, periods, etc.)

1. Facial hair isn't just for boys.

Thinkstock / Nora Whelan / Via buzzfeed.com

"I wish that someone had told me that it’s normal for women to get a stray dark chin hair here and there. Hell, I wish women would talk about it now. It happens!"

blairt44809aeed

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2. Same with your voice cracking. That might happen, too.

The CW

"I thought I had a problem with my voice because I’m a girl and my voice cracks like there’s no tomorrow. My friends and I make fun of it, but now I know it’s normal."

ofcljuniorcat

3. Vaginal discharge is totally normal and not cause for panic.

instagram.com

"Your vagina will start to naturally lubricate more, even years before you start ovulating and menstruating, and it can and will show up in your underwear. No, you aren't dying, no, you don't have cancer, no, you weren't abducted by aliens and experimented upon (yeah, I was legit terrified of this in the fourth grade)."

—Kaitlin Kelly, Facebook

5. Your boobs will have their own growing pains.

HBO / Via pinterest.com

"Boobs don't grow painlessly. Seriously, starting at age 11 it felt like I had little rocks of pain and sadness sitting on my chest."

—Erinne Beachler, Facebook

6. Your vulva will grow and change just like the rest of your body.

instagram.com

"No one ever mentioned that to me, and I thought [my inner labia] had gotten bigger because I had started masturbating. I even tried to tuck them up before doctors appointments because I thought the way they looked was abnormal. Everyone mentions the boobs growing and the hair appearing, but don’t forget that your vulva may change in appearance too!"

eh0kay

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8. New sexual feelings and urges are normal.

FOX / Via unlockthecage.tumblr.com

"I wish sexual awakenings in girls were more normalized. Growing up, boys were the ones who were warned they were going to become horn dogs when they went through puberty so I felt weird and perverted when I started being curious about sex and having sex dreams."

—Jasmine Marks, Facebook

9. Your period blood can be messy and weirdly colored, and have little clots in it. All normal.

Warner Bros. / Via replicant.co.vu

"Period blood is NOT going to be like the blood coming from a cut. It’s darker and thicker and has stuff in it, and that’s normal."

brookem416e304a9

Learn more about what is and isn't normal during your period here.

10. And it probably won't be normal for a few cycles.

Casey Gueren

"I wish someone would have come to me and told me, 'Maxine, if you miss your period by a few days it’s totally normal for the first few cycles. Stop crying. You are not going to be the Virgin Maxi.'"

MaxineBlythe

11. Some body parts may grow at a different rate than others.

Disney / Via youtube.com

“Be patient and don’t feel like a freak when one part is developing faster than others. My feet got huge at 12, hips expanded at 14, my period came at 15, my boobs fully filled out by 20, and I never got much of a growth spurt. Each thing took its own time and now I’m fully comfortable with my body, but while it was all happening I felt weird.”

d456b89b10

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12. Pubic hair is a thing that will definitely catch you off guard if you don't know it's coming.

Linda N. / Creative Commons / Via Flickr: 22748341@N00

"I thought that women didn’t grow hair down there — until I hit puberty and thought I was a werewolf or something."

WhatTheFreak

13. Intense, debilitating pain may not be typical PMS.

ABC

"I grew up knowing that girls get cramps and mood swings and all that, so I assumed that I would just have to deal with it no matter how bad it got. I would throw up at least once from my cramps every month, and would become so depressed that I barely left the house and cried multiple times a day. It wasn’t until I was 18 when I couldn’t deal with it anymore and went to a doctor. I got diagnosed with premenstrual dysphoric disorder and now am getting treatment for it so that I can function. Periods aren’t supposed to ruin your life!"

abigailcrawford4

14. Your boobs probably won't turn out the way you think they will.

buzzfeed.com

"I wish I knew that my boobs would NOT look as good as the ones that the girl in my American Girl puberty book had. I was waiting on my boobs to finish growing and look like that bitch’s for waaaayyyy too long."

oliviamae

15. You don't have to be afraid of tampons — they're your friends!

Jenny Chang / BuzzFeed

"Tampons aren’t that scary! I got my period in eighth grade and refused to use tampons for about a year and a half. Even then, I only used them when absolutely necessary. I’m a senior in high school now, and really only started using tampons the majority of the time in the last year. Now, I don’t know what I’d do without them!"

keylimepiepie

18. Your bod is awesome no matter what.

instagram.com

"You don't have to hate it or be ashamed of it. It does such cool things, and it's beautiful. That body will go on to bear children and run marathons and have lots and lots of great sex with people who appreciate it. Don't waste so many years thinking that you don't deserve to be loved."

—Sonnet Fitzgerald, Facebook

19. And finally, it's all going to be okay.

instagram.com

"You’re okay! You’re going to be okay! Everyone struggles during puberty. Stop worrying so much about what other people think, since chances are they’re worrying the same. Wear what you feel comfortable in, find a good bra that fits, and focus on taking care of your mind and body. You got this, girl."

sarag4491e8e4a

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