From Girlhood to Womanhood: 5 Things I Wish Someone Told Me When I Was a Little Girl

Transitioning from girlhood to womanhood is a fun yet exhausting journey. It’s exhilarating to embrace the joy of youth and discover new things, but at the same time, it gets stressful to deal with changes and life pressures in navigating adult life. 

As I grew up, I became more aware of the societal expectations imposed on women, many of which I had been hearing since I was a little girl. The constant reinforcement of these expectations significantly influenced how I perceived myself as a woman. With that, I can say that among my biggest challenges in girlhood was recognizing what to internalize and what to let go of.

Girlhood, womanhood

Stepping into womanhood made me realize that there were a lot of things I yearned to hear when I was a little girl. These are things that, if I had known sooner, would have saved me from fears and uncertainties about living my life and believing in what I can do as a woman. 

5 Things I Wish Someone Told Me When I Was a Little Girl

You don’t always have to be prim and proper.



One of the strict rules I followed as a young girl was being prim and proper. I’ve been told to dress modestly, groom my hair, and speak softly because “that’s what little girls should look like.” While it’s a good practice to keep myself presentable most of the time, there were instances when I felt more comfortable in baggy clothes and without the discomfort of tight hair ties, especially when I was playing. 

Looking back, this instilled in me the idea that girls with poised appearances are prettier and more likable. So, I resorted to wearing clothes I didn’t really like and was uncomfortable with until the older me helped me discover the power of expressing my true self and appreciating the individual differences of women regardless of how they look, act, and talk. 

It’s okay to say “no.”


I wasn’t directly told not to say “no” when I was a girl, yet I used to get disapproving glances during those times I expressed disagreement and set boundaries, like not wanting to hug a relative and share my food or toys. Unfortunately, refusing to say “no” has been associated with being nice, respectful, and friendly, making it difficult for women to assert themselves even in uncomfortable situations. 

As a grown woman, I’m glad I finally disconnected myself from guilt whenever I say “no” and fear of disappointing others. After all, our comfort and peace should be our priority, not other people’s feelings. 

It actually took some time for me to master this to the point I had to remind myself multiple times that I must not eat pickles in burgers and ginisang amplaya (sauteed bitter melon) again just because I’m too shy to decline. Never again, bestie.

Marriage and motherhood isn’t a universal path for every woman.


I remember when the elderly taught me to do household chores; I usually got confused every time they said these were essential skills for women so they could serve their future husbands. Someone even told me no man would court me because I didn’t know how to cook. Take note: I was around eight or nine at that time. It’s funny that women already bear the weight of housework and childcare responsibilities at a very young age, as if our only role in this world is to become wives or mothers.

Anyway, I’m 26 now, and I still don’t know how to cook. So far, I have had suitors. It was all lies then. Women are more than just mothers and wives. Choosing not to get married and have kids is perfectly fine. It doesn’t make you less of a woman.

You’re not taking up too much space for being you.


Apart from being birth givers and primary caregivers, women have been traditionally viewed as submissive, nurturing, and passive. I was once a little girl scolded for speaking up, expressing my opinion, and asking too many questions. I was labeled aggressive and overacting for showing my emotions. I felt I was taking up too much space and should just stay in my own lane all the time. 

Fast forward to today, if I had known earlier that women aren’t “too much” for being assertive, curious, and confident, I should’ve continued making myself heard, seen, and included when I was a little girl. 

It’s okay to be different.


This is the most important thing I would love to hear in my girlhood, so I didn’t have to question my worth and choices for enjoying things that don’t adhere to societal norms. If I had already known that there’s nothing wrong about not being too feminine, I would have collected those cute dinosaurs and robots my boy cousins have and worn snapback caps that I find cool instead of pretending to be kikay.

What gives me joy and fulfillment in being a woman is having the freedom to choose, chase my dreams, embrace my own self, and veer away from the traditional standards that define a woman. 

Here’s to celebrating the incredible diversity of women! 

What life lesson/s do you wish you knew sooner during girlhood? Tell us in the comments!


Do you have a story for the Team? Email us at or send us a direct message at Facebook Page. Interact with the team and join the Community at WIM Squad! Get the latest news about the Philippine Entertainment industry and join the WIM Showbiz Facebook group! We also share our stories on Viber, join us!