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


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

    FOX / Via

    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

    "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!"


    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."


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

    4. Also, it's a vagina, so it should smell like a vagina.

    5. Your boobs will have their own growing pains.

    HBO / Via

    "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.

    7. You should explore and check out the equipment down there.

    MTV / Via

    "It’s aright to be ~curious~ down there and experiment."


    8. New sexual feelings and urges are normal.

    FOX / Via

    "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

    "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."


    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.'"


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

    Disney / Via

    “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.”


    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."


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


    "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!"


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

    "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."


    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!"


    16. You don't have to shave anything you don't want to.

    17. You might gain weight or change sizes in a short period of time.

    Becky Barnicoat / Via

    18. Your bod is awesome no matter what.

    "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.

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