|Puberty: From the Mentors
I think the scariest thing about puberty is wondering if you're doing it right...wondering if you're behind or not. Eventually you just grow and realize that everyone's body is different, but seeing my friends start to mature first was really weird for me, and I felt really young whenever I hung out with them. It just took time for me, really. So my best advice would be: Don't panic! I know it's strange and you feel really unsure of your body. Maybe you feel like your body and your mind don't match in maturity or it's just hard for you to adjust to all the extra hygiene things that you have to do now. Remember that by the time you hit high school, stuff usually calms down a bit, and you start to settle. Remember it's not just you freaking out, it's everyone!
When I was in the 5th grade in Singapore, a few nurses came to our school and gave us ‘grades' on how fast we were maturing. Half my friends got a 5, which was the "highest grade." I guess it meant that they had already gotten their periods. The rest of us were a 2. (Don't ask me why we all got the same number. I don't know.) I was so jealous of the people who got a 5. I really wanted my period to come! When I got it the next year, I didn't even know I had gotten it! I had a few books about puberty but none of them described how it looked. Anyway, since I'm the eldest in my family, I didn't know how my mom would react so I wanted to keep it a secret from her. The next day, my little sister told her. I was so angry at her, but at least my mom didn't act weirdly or anything. You know how people always joke about PMS (Pre-Menstrual Syndrome)? It sort of is true. You get really cranky before your period (or during your period, sometimes), you get cramps, and you also may get acne breakouts. Here's my best tip: wash your face every day and I recommend using a tea tree "spot zapping stick." It works really well most of the time and gets rid of pimples after about two days. If you have blackheads on your nose, you should try using a pore strip. It feels kind of gross, but trust me, it works.
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