When you’re a kid you can’t wait to grow up. I remember always trying to hang out with my older sister and her friends. I would get upset when people told me I was too young. I didn’t feel too young - I felt I was a big girl!
I think I spoke too soon though, because growing up isn’t as easy as it looks. It comes with this interesting phase in life called puberty. Puberty is when our bodies start to experience changes like bigger breasts and bums, hairy arms and legs. It’s when our growth hormones kick in. It usually starts around age 8-13, but mine started earlier.
I noticed I was different when all the kids around me would comment on my body. They would say mean things like, “You are hairy like a man.” or “Why are your boobs so big - are you pregnant?”
Being the first to hit puberty made me feel like an alien. I didn’t like the things people were saying about me, so I opened up to my mum because I trust her.
My mum was very comforting. She told me to ignore the bullies. Because they didn’t understand why I looked different, it was easy to pick on me, but I could help them out by teaching them. She also taught me that puberty is a very natural part of growing up and I shouldn’t feel ashamed for reaching it earlier than most people. Yes it can be awkward but overall it’s a time of exciting and positive changes. No one has the right to tease you about your body.
Looking back at when it all happened, I realised that that conversation with my mum was the best idea ever. Talking to her about the changes I was experiencing made me feel more confident and less ashamed. Since I reached puberty early I’ve also been able to guide other girls along their journey. Turns out there’s a positive side to every negative situation.
If you’re a Springster like me, who has reached puberty early, make sure you don’t keep your feelings to yourself. Find someone you trust and talk to them about it. They can help change how you see things for the better. Don’t do this alone!