Adolescent girls at a glance

Adolescence is a time of change and development. You will start to get a better understanding of who you are, your unique strengths and talents, and how you fit into the world around you.

Times of change bring with them new opportunities and challenges that are essential for growth but can also be confusing and stressful. Don’t worry. All of this is normal and the vast majority of adolescents (and families!) make this transition from childhood to young adulthood without any major ‘hiccups’.

There are a large range of things that happen in adolescence. It is a time of experimenting, finding out who you are, and gradually becoming increasingly independent. It is the transition between childhood and adulthood. Some of the normal experiences of adolescents are:

  • challenging your parents (and other adults)
  • taking risks (and breaking rules)
  • testing and demonstrating courage
  • experiencing success
  • recognising your feelings
  • finding your voice
  • developing a belief system
  • becoming self-sufficient
  • leaving school/leaving home
  • learning to give
  • recognising your mortality.

Adolescence can be divided into early, middle and late stages, with different priorities or concerns for each.

Stage Age Concern
Early 10 to 13 years Am I normal?
Middle 14 to 17 years Who am I?
Late over 17 years Where am I going?

While you become physically mature in adolescence, your brain continues to develop for some time. So adolescents have adult bodies but don't yet have adult brains. This fine tuning continues into your mid-20s. So if you feel caught between two worlds – don’t worry, that’s normal. In a sense, that’s exactly where you are.


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