Vanessa Hudgens may be coming to a campus near you. Covering the Autumn 2013 issue of Cosmo on Campus, British Cosmopolitan's spin-off student magazine, the 24-year-old actress reveals she dreams of attending college someday.
"I got into acting young and I wasn't as fascinated with learning as I am now," says the star, who made her film debut in 2003's Thirteen before hitting it big three years later with High School Musical. "The older I get, the more curious I become. I'd like to study film or photography one day."
Unlike some of her peers, Hudgens insists she's not into the Hollywood scene. "I have never liked partying; I love dancing, but that's as far as it goes," she says. "It's tough because a lot of clubs are everything I loathe, especially in L.A. They're always very ego-filled and people get up to mischief. It's just not a pure environment. I stay away from [drugs] because I know it's smart to steer clear."
Hudgens surrounds herself with like-minded people, including boyfriend Austin Butler and BFF Ashley Tisdale. In fact, the actress' pals make it a point to keep her out of trouble.
"Ashley always says she wants me to be more cautious. She thinks I'm too trusting," the Frozen Ground star says. "I think I'm fine the way I am, but she thinks I have a tendency to float around on a cloud, which I kind of do. She's quite protective—she always has my back. If you're my best friend, I'll trust you with my life. There's an assumption celebs only trust friends who are in the same industry, but it's not like that for me. If you click, that's all that matters."
The High School Musical stars aren't entirely alike, however. Unlike Tisdale, Hudgens works through breakups on her own. "Ashley and I have laughed and cried together over the years. She comes to me for relationship advice more than I go to her, though," she shares. "I try to figure stuff out by myself."
Hudgens—who famously dated Zac Efron until 2010—also offers tips for getting over heartbreak.
"When a girlfriend is going through a break-up, you have to go out and dance. With your best friends, you've got to be there for them no matter what," she tells the mag. "love taking my girlfriends away from their worries and enjoying life with them. If there's a problem, a bottle of wine goes a long way. It's the same after a long week of filming—a glass of wine and a bit of chocolate makes me happy. And I love a theme party! Give me a theme and I will dress up like there's no tomorrow."
If all else fails, Hudgens looks to her mother, Gina, for support. According to the starlet, she's never been closer with her parents than she is right now.
"Your twenties are a transitional time; you're not a child anymore, but you're only just becoming an adult. When you get to a certain age, you can't be mom and daughter like you used to be; you have a new relationship dynamic. You've got to figure out how to be friends and equals," she tells Cosmo on Campus. "So that's what my mum and I are doing now. She's amazing and I want to be her best friend like she is mine, and be there when she needs someone to talk to. I love to just hang out with her. She's such a character, she's just so precious."