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To Sam

Why do I feel this way?

Hi, people in my school are talking about how theyre going through puberty and all these sexual thoughts however I feel I am not. I feel different because I suspect everyone has started Puberty and I haven’t. I feel so different and I feel I don't fit in.
Ask Sam


Hi there,

Thanks for getting in touch and telling me about what is going on at school and how you are feeling.

I can hear that you feel different but I want you to know that everyone goes through puberty at different ages and in their own time. The chances are that not everyone in your school will be going through puberty yet. Some of them may feel similar to you and not want to say anything because they also think they should be at the stage of puberty that these people are talking about.

Puberty generally starts between 8 and 13 for girls, and 10 and 15 for boys, so there is usually a really wide gap between different people in the same class. When puberty does start, your body will go through gradual changes over time. Some will be noticeable, such as the physical changes your body goes through. Some of them will be hormonal changes, which will be less obvious but will have an effect on your feelings and moods.

There is some good information about puberty in the My body section of Explore as well as on the Great Ormond Street website.

If you are worried that there might be a reason why you haven’t started puberty yet, you can always talk to your doctor or school nurse. They will be really used to talking to people about the changes that happen during puberty and can hopefully help you understand what’s happening to your body a little better.

You mentioned not fitting in. I am not sure if this is to do with feeling like everyone else has started puberty, or if something else is going on. If you do want to talk about what is going on for you in more detail you can talk to one of the ChildLine counsellors by having a 1-2-1 chat, calling 0800 1111 or sending a email. They are always there to help support you with whatever you have going on in your life.

Take care,


Need help straight away?

You can talk privately to a counsellor online or call 0800 1111 for free.

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