11/05/2013 AT 9:15 AM ET
“The difference between Taylor and me is she was 16 with the confidence of a 25-year-old. Actually, I should say 80-year-old, because she’s such an old soul,” the singer says in the December/January issue of Teen Vogue.
“I was not that way. I was very sheltered until about 18 or 19. I still live at home, and I’m 21! She does inspire me like crazy, but I wouldn’t change my path, because it allowed me to figure out all that stuff and do it on my own.”
Now that she’s in her 20s, Gomez says she’s “entered the decade of confusion about who I am and what I want to do with my life, and that’s what this entire decade’s going to be [about].”
It’s unclear if Gomez – who recently admitted to getting criticized for her squeaky-clean image – feels that finding love will be a part of this time of discovery.