Young adolescent girls
Life Stages

What I wish I knew when I was 13

Being 13 years old and beginning a phase of life packed full of changes can be both exciting and scary. It’s a time where you’ll begin to notice physical, mental and emotional changes in yourself and it can feel like a bit of a whirlwind.

Puberty brings hormonal changes that will not only begin to transform your body, but also the way you see yourself and the world around you.

There are new emotions that come with being 13, like new romantic feelings and sudden mood changes. Knowing that you aren’t alone and that other women have gone through similar experiences can make this time feel a lot less overwhelming. Thinking back to such a transformative time, these are the things I wish I knew when I was 13.

You’re never alone

Whether you’re struggling with bullying or the uncomfortable feelings associated with your changing body, always know that you’re never alone. There is always someone you can talk to, whether that be your parents, family members, friends, teachers or your doctor.

You should never feel ashamed or embarrassed by any of your feelings or experiences. Talk to people you trust about your worries, ask for advice and confide in the people that you can trust.

Embrace your bodily changes

Everyone is unique, and all bodies develop at different pace. If you're noticing body changes before your friends, then remember that you're not alone. If you're feeling left behind, know that your time will come.

The best thing to do is to practice being more in tune and accepting of yourself. The more you get to know yourself, the better you’ll be able to pinpoint your needs and start being the best and most authentic you!

Starting your period? Get to know what the menstrual cycle means, or get the lowdown on period products.

Have fun being you!

It may sound cliché, but there really is no one in the world like you. Have fun and take your time getting to know who you are, what you like and what truly makes you happy. Remember that perfect because it doesn’t exist (no matter what instagram edits would have you believe!) and avoid comparing yourself to other people.

Instead of focusing on other people, discover what makes you special! When do you feel most comfortable? Which activities make you feel happy?

Always keep good company

Surrounding yourself with good people is one of the most important things you can do to be happy and achieve real success in life. We’re not talking about lots of money and becoming Insta-famous - real success is feeling confident in your own skin and living the life you want.

Good friends will make you feel happy, energized and accepted. Keep those people around, and learn to let go of the 'friends' who make you feel less than enough.

Don’t be afraid of failure

Failure is the best teacher. The better you get at overcoming failure, the faster you’ll learn. In other words, don’t quit something because you’re not an expert from day one. Getting really good at something takes time, repetition and persistence!

You’re only 13 once, so allow yourself to enjoy it! Go to slumber parties, make new friends, try new sports, learn a martial art or how to play an instrument, join a choir... do it all. Now is the time to seize the day.