1. Puberty is not be confused with adolescence. Puberty is the physiological growth and anatomical development that take place when the pituitary gland releases growth hormones.
2. If you're off to an early start or an unusually late one, relax. Everyone develops according to his/her own personal biological clock. Girls start developing as early as 9 or as late as 15. Boys can start as early as 10 and can continue through 17 or 18. (Many women maintain that men continue their puberty well into their 40's.)
3. Boys can experience growth spurts practically overnight, resulting in sudden maladjustment in motor-coordination skills. This accounts for a clumsy/awkward phase that many guys suffer through. This, too, shall pass.
4. Most girls experience their first vaginal discharge in the form of menstruation, which continues naturally on a monthly cycle. Boys experience their first discharge in the form of a "wet dream".
5. The general puberty sequence followed by girls is: breast development, pubic hair, growth spurt, menstruation, and, finally armpit hair (which you may shave or style with mousse. Joke, girls.) Boys follow a different sequence: genital development, pubic hair, a general growth spurt, ejaculation (wet dream), followed by a voice change. Facial and body hair become more prominent later, to finally justify the voice.
Remember that these are just general guidelines. Your unique body may be developing in a different order.
6. Acne severity is genetic. There is no evidence to support that chocolate or fried foods provoke breakouts. However, chocolate or fried foods can produce chunky thighs.
7. Exercise and good nutrition are pivotal during puberty. The body has shifted into high gear and is working overtime in order to accommodate the puberty cycle - it needs to be food-fueled responsibly. Moderate exercise is key in maintaining your changing body in good shape.
8. Seemingly "adult" health concerns, such as high blood pressure, arteriosclerosis, and cholesterol levels find their roots in the early teen years. Attention should be paid to limiting high fat and sugar content and empty calorie foods.
9. In late old age, secondary sex characteristics surface in many elderly men and women. Women can grow facial hair and men can start developing breasts! (An amazing but true fact!)