My First Period: Annika Larson
To be honest, I don’t remember the first time I learned about periods; it was probably in my third-grade health class. For most of my childhood, I took no interest in menstruation. Blood? No thanks. I remained that way until I was twelve and on the cusp of puberty. That’s when every other girl in my class started to get her period.
However, my perspective shifted when Alina got her period. Alina was the coolest girl in my grade. She was a sixth-grade badass with five piercings on each ear (rumor has it she pierced them herself) and had an older boyfriend. From the moment she came back from Summer break in Arizona, bragging about skinny dipping with her boyfriend during a lightning storm, she was my idol. Anything Alina did, I wanted to do. If Alina got her period, then so would I!
I’m a strong believer in willpower; you can will something enough to come true. With my youthful outlook, this included my period. As soon as I got home from school that fateful day, I consulted my resident health expert: Google. Fun fact - searching “how to get your period to start” brings up thousands of results, recommending anything from drinking green tea, to eating ginger, to exercising every day. Most of these recommendations have been debunked by health experts, but I was too young to be a skeptic.
So, I trained like an Olympian. Despite being a notoriously picky eater, I begged my mom to buy me ginger. I traded in my Capri Sun for green tea, earning some strange looks from my classmates across the lunch table. And just like Rocky, I began jogging all over my neighborhood in hopes that my period would finally start. I did this for months...
Then, one magical morning, I climbed out of bed and meandered over to the bathroom. To my sleepy surprise, my period had finally arrived. I woke up the entire house with the sound of my cheers. Finally, finally, I had joined the ranks of women!
The next day, I went into school gloating about my newfound womanhood. As I bragged to my lunch table friends, my friend Kayla pulled me aside afterward and whispered “How did you do it?” I smiled coyly. “Well first, you need to drink green tea…”