So, you’re at that stage. You just got your braces, and your school shoes and uniform from last year don’t fit anymore.
You daydream about the guy you like every five minutes or so. This is a huge turning point in your life, but don’t freak out.
If you think it gets easier, think again. Here are some things teenage girls go through.
Have you ever experienced rejection? Your teacher keeps insisting you aren’t smart enough? What about your crush, who told you he doesn’t like you back in a game of Truth or Dare?
You’re insecure and self-conscious. It’s difficult to get along with girls your age, and your hair keeps getting frizzier by the minute.
Most of all, you hate your thunder thighs. I was once like you, not too long ago. So believe me when I tell you you’re going to be okay.
If, at this point, you think life isn’t kind and fair, it’s true. You’re drowning in challenges and obstacles, like your endless struggle with math, and that pair of high-waist jeans that you really want to wear.
Friends are coming and going, and you often find yourself awake in bed at 2 a.m. Sometimes you feel lost, like you’re losing all the people closest to you.
It’s hard to keep a positive attitude, and you might be confused with the intensity of your feelings and emotions. Let me tell you a secret: Those are hormones at work.
Does it feel like nothing right is happening in your life right now? Every day is a mental torture, a sense of alienation and again being left out of your friends’ circle.
But, hey, you’re having lots of fun, too. This is the time when you begin to have a favorite boy band, when you’ve learned how to cross the street on your own, and maybe even the time you’ll have one of your happiest Christmases.
You also notice friends who actually like spending time with you.
You realize you’re too old to be treated like a child, but too young to be given adult responsibilities—and you’re loving every second of it.
You have teenage privileges like staying up late, going out with friends, more computer time. But sometimes, you also wonder about what it’s like to be a grownup.
You snoop through your mother’s makeup drawer—a lot. You try on her crimson lipstick oh so carefully, making sure not to go over the lines, just like the drawings in coloring books.
If there’s anything I regret doing, back when I was your age, it’s that I never asserted myself.
I was so self-critical. Out of a compulsive fear of rejection, I was the first to put myself down. This isolated me from the things I wanted to do. At one point, it also distanced me from my friends.
• You should never feel like you don’t deserve to be recognized and appreciated. Don’t be afraid to tell your worst critics that you’re trying your best, or to let that guy know that you don’t need his approval. Just prove them wrong. Be bold. You have what it takes, don’t think otherwise.
• Get to know people in school, even those in the older batches. You may get intimidated at first, but learn to overcome shyness. You’ll be surprised by the empowering rewards of speaking your mind and putting yourself out there.
• It’s okay to doubt your skills and abilities on some days. You will encounter more challenges and rough patches. But do not fret, because you will always make it in the end.
Perhaps the biggest lesson in my own journey through the teenage years is this: You will never figure out life’s ironies and contradictions.
The best thing you can do is focus on improving yourself, feed your mind by reading about your interests as well as the world in general, and find the good in every difficult situation.
If you can’t shake off the feeling that you’re weird in whatever way, let me tell you this: Stay quirky. Being authentic can cause tension, but once you get past the awkward stage, you’ll be cool and confident.
If you’re fat, your hair looks awful, you have a big bum and, most especially, you have thunder thighs—so what?
Stop wishing you were someone else. Stop avoiding the hallways because everyone is constantly judging how you look.
You’re talented, passionate and kind. That’s way better than fitting in a pair of size 26 jeans.
So, go and run free with your thunder thighs. Be your own kind of beautiful. You’ll be surprised by the love you can give yourself by just letting you be you.