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A graphic representing the growth of a child into an adult
Photograph: Supplied/Museums Victoria

Three extremely relatable experiences you'll have at Becoming You

The Immigration Museum's current exhibition explores the highs, lows and cringey moments we all share while growing up

By Time Out in association with Museums Victoria
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No matter where and when you came of age, everybody has tales of dazzling highs, miserable lows  and moments where you're so embarrassed you want to hide forever (but probably laugh about now). And it's those teenage stories that form the crux of the Immigration Museum's current exhibition, Becoming You: An Incomplete Guide. The exhibition brings together 72 stories about growing up from real people – everyone from drag queen Karen from Finance and author Alice Pung, to Greens senator Lidia Thorpe and photographer Atong Atem, as well as stories from members of the general public.

Each story – whether it be about a first love, rebelling against family or standing up to bullies – is presented dynamically in the museum. You can even add your own coming of age story to the exhibition (come on, we know you've got one). Here's just three of the highly relatable experiences you can explore at Becoming You.

Touching and Feeling
Photograph: Supplied / The Immigration Museum

Touching and Feeling

Without sounding too much like a puberty textbook, growing up means some pretty gnarly physical changes. Inside Becoming You's Touching and Feeling room, you'll be faced with stories all about the body – stories about accepting our bodies, using our bodies and even being shamed for our bodies. It's in this room that you'll hear about how Bosnian-Australian supermodel Andreja Pejić came to love her transbody, as well as how activist and writer Jax Jacki Brown found self-acceptance in their wheelchair. 

Making It
Photograph: Supplied / The Immigration Museum

Making It

The table is set – literally – for tales of growing up when you walk into the Making It room. This colourful space surrounds a pristine white dining table that looks as if it's been left mid meal. In truth, you can sit at this table, under a rainbow of streamers, and explore stories about the moment you finally recognise you're an adult – for good or for ill. Some stories here are celebratory, some are solemn (like when rapper Nooky was a pall bearer for a cousin), but all will make you recall the moment you realised you were no longer a child. 

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Looking Up
Photograph: Supplied / The Immigration Museum

Looking Up

When you're young you're filled with potential – dreams and aspirations that reach to the heavens. In Becoming You's Looking Up room, you'll hear about the teenage dreams of people like astronomer Alan Duffy (who literally dreamt of the stars), pioneering dancer and choreographer Noel Tovey, and music journo Jen Jewell Brown (who took her passion for rock concerts and made a career out of it). Sit on the bed and explore a world of dreams.

Becoming You: An Incomplete Guide is on show daily 10am-5pm at the Immigration Museum, and entry is included with museum entry ($0-$15).

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