Health & well-being
Growing up

Growing up

All change


Becoming a young person can be a challenging time, full of change and excitement. There are many pressures and choices you will have to make about drugs and alcohol or becoming sexually active, about your education and just about everything else. With your increasing independence, you will also need to become more responsible for your own safety and well-being.

So many changes happen in these short years that it is easy to feel confused, frightened and lacking in confidence at times. Physically, your body will grow and change in ways that may make you feel awkward and self-conscious at first. Emotionally you can sometimes have mood swings and feel a bit out of control. Young people can experience emotional turmoil as their minds and bodies develop. An important part of growing up is working out and accepting who you are. Everyone goes through it, you are not alone.

Some young people find it hard to make this change to adulthood and may experiment with alcohol, drugs or other substances that can affect mental health.

Now is the time when you are forming your opinions about things and ideas about life. This is a time of great opportunity, you don’t need your parents in the same way you used to, so they may feel a bit left out - talk to them, tell them about your life, use their experiences, they were teenagers once.



Boys bodies can start to change from around the age of ten with sexual development soon after. You will be developing into a young man. Your body starts to produce hormones which will also affect your emotions.


Puberty in girls can begin from around the age of nine. You will probably have gone through puberty and have developed into a young woman. Your body starts to produce hormones which will also affect your emotions.