Adolescence: Growing Up as an Early or Late Bloomer
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Going through adolescence is rough. It can feel even rougher if you’re the first boy to develop a light mustache, or the last girl to develop breasts. Although the best advice is to enjoy your youth and not worry about such things, doing so is sometimes impossible. These particular changes are too sensational to ignore, particularly when they also affect how you think and feel. So whether you are a late bloomer or an early one, it’s important to learn how to navigate this difficult time — and to remember that, somehow, you will survive adolescence.
The changes of adolescence usually take place anywhere between the ages of 11 and 16. In any particular group of young people, however, you’ll find some experiencing changes as early as age 9 or 10, and others lagging behind until maybe 16 or 17. Being first to the game is definitely embarrassing because everybody is going to notice, you can be sure. To be the last one in the group, even if nobody seems to notice, may have you worrying if you’ll be flat-chested or hairless forever.
Whatever stage you’re in, go ahead and spend five or maybe ten minutes a day taking stock of yourself and giving in to whatever feelings about yourself you may be harboring. But, after that, you have to pick yourself up and push forward. Your main duty at this time of your life is to do well in school. Luckily, how big or small you are, how developed or undeveloped you are, has no effect on your studies — unless you let it. Just be sure not to let it.
If you happen to be at either end of the spectrum — an early or late developer — here are a couple of ways to keep those worries at bay:
Look around you at the adult population. You can quickly see that none of us adults got stuck in childhood. So whether you are waiting for everybody to catch up to you, or if you’re the one who needs to do the catching up, keeping one eye on the adults around you will help you to remember that things will all even out eventually.
Learn as much about the growing-up process as possible. You can find plenty of books or we sites meant for teenagers that explain the process in detail. If you know about what is going on, even if you can’t totally control it, you may feel more in control and make better choices. Really understanding what your body is going through makes distancing yourself from the process a little easier, which can help you to remain a little calmer about it all.