Laughing Through Puberty

Ah, puberty. You know it, and you love it (or maybe you don’t - you wouldn't be alone). Growing up is messy, awkward, and sometimes embarrassing. Read some totally funny and totally true stories about puberty and growing up that just might make you realize how universal this experience really is.

Catie, 19 - The first time I got my period, I was in the sixth grade and it was in the middle of winter. I was sitting down reading when I felt a cramp, felt some wetness, and boom there it was. Seems okay, not so bad. That is until you learn the fact that I was sitting on my favorite, enormous, white plush beanbag/armchair. I wasn’t particularly embarrassed, just more upset at the fact that my period could have come at literally any other time during the day besides the twenty minutes or so I was reading on my spotless, perfectly clean, white chair. 

Isabella, 21 - My absolute favorite story to tell about puberty is the quintessential, embarrassing, and might I say ~magical~ story. Before I got my period for the first time, I had never really discussed what my game plan was if I got my period. I knew it was coming soon because I was hitting the ripe age of 12 and that was when my mom got my period. It was a beautiful sunny California day, my aunt and cousins were visiting me in LA and we all wanted to go to Disneyland. A few rides into the day, I felt my stomach cramp. Thinking it was just the Mickey Mouse shaped ice cream I had inhaled too quickly a few moments earlier, I ran to the bathroom alone. As soon as I got to the toilet, I realized that I had in fact gotten my period for the first time. Unprepared, I did not have pads on hand. So, I had to run out and ask my aunt for a pad for the first time. I’ll never forget how red my face got when I asked that question and the magical day of getting my first period.

Jo, 20 - Even though I still have secondhand embarrassment from literally all of middle school, a particularly notable moment was when a male relative found my stash of pads under the bathroom sink and asked me why I was still wearing diapers.

Rebecca, 21 - I remember when I started to smell bad. I would wash my armpits constantly. For some reason, the thought of asking for deodorant scared me, and I guessed nobody could smell my stank the way I was smelling it. One day, after playing tennis with my dad and brother, I was standing at my kitchen sink washing my hands, and my brother exposed my secret. He smelled the stank and he announced it. I was both mortified and relieved. I was given organic, fragrance-free, roll-on deodorant that I applied obsessively in huge amounts. I honestly do not think it worked. So, one day I went to CVS and bought a real stick of deodorant that I proceeded to hide in weird spots of my room because, despite the secret being out that I smelled bad, I still felt the need to hide it. 

Samson, 19 - One of the last parts of my process with puberty was development of armpit hair. While I had a major growth spurt and felt more confident with my tall figure, I did not have any armpit hair. My friends and I were going to the beach. I decided it would be a good idea to cut some of my hair and tape it to my bare armpits. I was really uncomfortable once at the beach, constantly itching my armpits. When we went in the water, the hairy tape fell into the water. My friends and I were making fun of the “idiot” who decided to do that. Luckily, my friends never found out.

Talia, 18 - My mom was my elementary school sex ed teacher for years, but I blocked out all the lessons she taught my class, so by the time I got my first period, I thought I had pooped my pants!

Teddy, 20 - I think one of my funniest experiences regarding puberty was when and why my parents had to give me the sex talk. I remember during third grade, I was in the car with my friend going to a playdate. Her mom was pregnant, and I asked why she was having a younger sister. At that time, I did not know what sex was and my friend began detailing the process of becoming pregnant. Later, the mom of that friend had to call my parents and explain to them that their 8-year old daughter had given the sex talk to me. 

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