"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.
"Part of you wants to have that rebellious feeling where you're just like, forget it – I can do anything I want," she continues. "I've tried it, and I've never been that girl. I'm always going to be the girl you want to take home to your parents, not for the night."
And if you do take that girl home, what would she like to see on the dinner table?
"I eat junk. I'm from the South, so I love Mexican food, greasy pasta and fried things," Gomez says. "I do try, every now and then, to put something in my body that will be good, but, honestly, I've never liked working out. I need to be active in some way though – that's why I kind of secretly do it for my show. We have 13 choreographed pieces, and it's a 90-minute set. I consider that my workout!"