Hitting Puberty Over the Summer Was One of My Most Uncomfortable Experiences
Summers are productive because when you get back to school, you can debut a new haircut and wardrobe. Me, on the other hand—I left school a girl and came back a woman.
It was the summer before sophomore year and I was the last of my friends to go through puberty. I gradually grew a few inches leading up to it, but then seemingly out of nowhere, my body really took a turn. Everything grew—and rapidly. My legs, butt and bust were the most obvious changes, and I didn't know how to handle it. I also started my period, which was a whole other adjustment in itself. The only good news was that I had clear skin, so it was one less worry on my plate.
(The Princess Diaries via Buena Vista Pictures)
I felt awkward in my own body, and the growing pains were unbearable. I remember laying in bed trying to keep it together and not cry. But the worst part was the stretch marks. My mom felt so bad—she has them, too (ugh, genetics), and she tried to help me through it. They were everywhere—my inner thighs, hips and rear-end got the brunt of it. I avoided wearing a bikini that summer. I was ashamed and thought they were disgusting.
As a stubborn teenager it felt like the world was out to get me. My hormones were running rampant, I was always grumpy and I only socialized with a few of my friends. Absolutely nothing seemed to fit (R.I.P. all my jeans), and I especially avoided the beach and pool. To top it off, I didn't confide in anyone. Keeping everything bottled up definitely didn't help my situation.
Once school was back in session, I mentally prepared myself for the onslaught of comments I was sure to receive. But wouldn't you know, it wasn't all that bad. While I did hear a few nasty and degrading comments, I was able to push them aside and focus on the good. Trust me—it took a lot of work, but I got through it. I slowly revealed my new body to the world and got the confidence to hit up the beach with my friends. I was still embarrassed and a little ashamed, but once I realized stretch marks and a big butt were just a part of my own growth experience, I learned to accept it.
As an adult who has had her fair share of struggles over the years, going through puberty that summer is to this day one of the most emotionally-draining experiences I've endured. I've learned to love my stretch marks and the rest of my body since that time, and I promise, you will, too, if you work at it.
Excited for school to start back up? HERE are some funny memes about the first day back.