06/16/2011 at 06:40 PM EDT
never planned on being a role model. But after finding fame at an early age, the 18-year-old actress and singer has learned to embrace it.
"I never really said I want to be a role model. But then when it happened I was so down for it," Gomez says on the upcoming E! Entertainment Special: Selena Gomez
, which will premiere June 29.
"I'm human, I'm not perfect. I make mistakes all the time, but I guess my job is to keep those mistakes to myself, which I'm already fine doing and just try to be the best I can be for those kids."
The pop star recently hit a rough patch when she had to miss an appearance after being hospitalized
due to malnourishment and exhaustion
, but she returned to the stage days later to the delight of her fans.
While the Texas-born beauty has enjoyed much success at a young age, she didn't have an easy childhood and she struggled with her parents' divorce.
"I wanted a family so bad. I wanted to have my dad and my mom together. So it was really, it was really hard," she says.
While Gomez, whose high-profile romance
with Justin Bieber
has made headlines, seems comfortable in the limelight, she says it's easy to get caught up in the fame.
"This is a very superficial job," Gomez says. "I sit in a chair for two hours and get hair and makeup done and talk about [myself] in interviews. That's a very vain thing to do. And I do get caught up in it sometimes."