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 will 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 too, like confusing romantic feelings and sudden mood changes. Although, 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, your aunts or uncles, friends or teachers. You should never feel ashamed or embarrassed by any of your feelings or experiences as there is someone who has gone through the same thing as you. Talk to people you trust about your worries, ask for advice and confide in the people that love you.

Embrace your bodily changes

You should welcome the changes that this phase of life will bring. Although the timing and some of the changes of being 13 will be consistent with other girls of the same age, it will feel a bit different for you as each person is unique. The best thing to do is to practice being more in tune with your own body. The more you get to know yourself, the better you’ll be able to take care of your needs and start being the best and most authentic you.

Have fun being you!

It may sound cliche, 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. Give up trying to be perfect because it doesn’t exist (even after an instagram filter or two) and avoid comparing yourself to other people. Give yourself a break. Everyone has flaws, so learn to accept yours, laugh about them and focus on what makes you awesome.

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 people will make you feel happy, energized and accepted! They’ll always be happy for you when you share personal successes and encourage you to be your best self. Keep those people around and ditch the rest, life is too short to put up with negative people.

Don’t be afraid of failure

Failure is the best teacher. The better you get at overcoming failure, the faster you’ll learn. Everyone makes mistakes and being constantly afraid of them is one of the worst mistakes you can make. In other words, don’t quit something because you’re afraid that you’re not naturally good enough at it. Getting really good at something takes time, repetition and persistence. Of course everyone has their strengths too, so learn what they are and apply them to everything you do.

Overall, just enjoy being 13 because you’re only 13 once! 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 so seize the day.