Binders and backpacks aren’t the only school supplies you need. Along with pencils and tape, pads and tampons need to be at the top of your list. If caught unprepared, dealing with your period at school can be a bit of a pain (especially if you don’t have any ibuprofen for your cramps), so let’s discuss your plan of attack for getting and having your period at school.
Make like a squirrel storing nuts and keep a few pads or tampons in a variety of places so that you’re prepared no matter where you are or who you’re with. Keep a stash of pads, liners, or tampons (or all three) in your locker, purse or backpack. You might also want to have a fresh pair of underwear and pain-relieving medicine (if your school allows) on hand. Some other helpful items include: a sweater (to tie around your waist to hide any stains), a change of pants (just in case), and a candy bar (chocolate has been proven to have an effect on PMS).
Even your back pocket can be a great place to keep a personal stash of supplies. U by Kotex’s Tween products are so slim that only you will know they’re there. If you’re worried about snoopers invading your privacy, you can conceal your products by storing them in a specially designated pencil case, makeup bag, or lunch bag. However, you may want to break the cycle of shame and leave them out in the open so that others can admire!
Also, ask your school nurse, your favorite teacher, or your guidance counselor if you can leave a small stash with them in case of emergencies. Encourage your girlfriends to stay prepared, too, so that if you find yourself in need of supplies but none of your own are within reach, you’ll have a bunch of people who can lend you a pad or tampon. If all else fails, you can always scoot to the bathroom and make an emergency pad to get you through the rest of the day!
Finding time for enough bathroom breaks when you’re on your period can be a bit of a challenge, especially in schools where there are only minutes between classes and teachers are harsh about students missing class time. No matter what, don’t be afraid to ask your teacher, even if it’s a man! You don’t need to tell him why you need to go, and if he continues to ask or tries to make you wait, complain to the principal. You should have enough time to change your tampon or pad without a hassle. That said, even the most no-nonsense teacher should understand if you let them know in private that you’re menstruating. If you don’t want to have an actual conversation, you or your mom can always write your teacher a note.
Finally, charting so that you know when to expect your period is the best thing you can do to make it more predictable. Having products with you is one thing, but wearing a liner the week you’re pretty sure your period is due is an even better way to be prepared and feel secure.
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