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It’s fair to say that Taylor Swift didn’t have a typical teenage experience. While other teens may have been focused on school, extracurriculars, and adolescent fun, Swift was hyperfocused on her career. The Midnights artist knew very early on in life that she wanted to be a famous singer. And by age 15, she was well on her way to achieving her dream. By the time she rounded out her teens at 19, she’d made a name for herself in the music industry.

Taylor Swift wears a gold dress to TIFF
Taylor Swift | Amy Sussman/Getty Images

Taylor Swift had a pretty tame social life as a teen despite growing up in the spotlight

Because Swift spent most of her teens in the spotlight, there was a lot of interest in her personal life. The media was curious about her dating life and what she did for fun. But outside of her intense work schedule, Swift seemed to lead the life of a very straight-laced teen. She didn’t party, she didn’t do drugs, and she didn’t get mixed up in the entertainment scene. And despite the amount of money she was making, she still chose to live at home with her parents rather than exert her independence.

The ‘Midnights’ artist found it odd that people were shocked that she wasn’t drinking or doing drugs in her teens

For her part, Swift seemed to find it a touch bizarre that people were surprised that she wasn’t more of a wild child. Back in 2009, she spoke with Dateline about how she was perceived in the media at age 19. “I have always felt a little strange about it being so unique that I’m not a trainwreck,” she said. “Like, this weird fluke that I’m not partying all the time and, you know, drunk in this interview.”

In the aforementioned interview, Swift revealed that she simply wasn’t very interested in drugs or alcohol. However, she shared that she did experience her own version of teenage rebellion. But, predictably, it was more career focused than anything else. For the folklore artist, the rebellion came through in the form of her music.

How did Swift rebel as a teenager?

“People talk to me a lot about, ‘Why don’t you ever rebel?’ And I feel like I do rebel,” Swift explained. “To me, rebelling is that rush you get when you sing a song about someone, and you know they’re in the crowd. Like, that’s a really fun rebellion for me.”


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Swift certainly has been able to practice her personal form of rebellion for a time or 20. “the 1” singer has performed everywhere from the Grammys to The Staples Center to Times Square to Saturday Night Live! Because Swift is such a success in the music world, she’s been on stage many times when the rumored subjects of her songs were in the audience. So while Swift’s teenage rebellion may have been atypical, it clearly gave her a buzz. We wonder if that’s something that still happens in her adult life.