07/28/2009 at 12:55 PM EDT
Every week, teenagers around the country tune in to Gossip Girl
to see Taylor Momsen
play Jenny Humphrey – a high school rebel with requisite teen angst. But just to be clear: Momsen says she's hardly a typical 16-year-old in real life.
"I live a very adult life," the high school graduate (she got her diploma two years early!) tells Teen Vogue
in the September issue, hitting stands August 4. "What am I going to do, hang out with high school kids? I just can't relate to what they talk about – it seems so petty."
And that includes high school boys. Momsen, who claims to have been in "lots of relationships," admits that she could never date someone her own age. "Boys are so much less mature than girls as it is," she explains. "I would eat a boy my age alive."
Instead, Momsen is eschewing the idea of a traditional college education, opting instead to take a few classes online, sing in her band, Pretty Reckless, and act, of course.
"I'm an artist; I'm not going to use trigonometry," she says matter-of-factly. "For most people college is a place where you learn about yourself, and I feel like I'm doing that already. I'm already independent."
But what about college friends? "I have such trust complexes," Momsen confesses. "I'm close to like, two people."
Still, all her insecurities seem to fade away when she steps in front of a crowd to sing her music. Having spent most of her life in front of a camera (Momsen began modeling at age 2), she's used to the spotlight, and doesn't mind if her Gossip Girl
fans don't understand her rock star persona or her new look.
"I'm pretty, but I'm not, like, a 'pretty girl,' " she says, adding that she modeled her new 'do on a Joan Jett photo. "I know people were a little, um, taken aback. But it wasn't me that changed – it was just that I decided to start being myself."