updated 10/10/2013 AT 12:45 PM ET
•originally published 10/11/2013 AT 1:30 PM ET
Abigail Breslin may be best known as a 9-year-old Oscar nominee. But the Little Miss Sunshine star has plenty of other pursuits these days – including boys.
The actress – who, with her long blonde hair, looked almost unrecognizable last month at the August: Osage County premiere – has been writing music lately, and tells ABC News that many of the songs are about young love.
“Boys and life. I mean, I’m 17,” she says. “So, basically that’s the thing that runs through my head every day. So yeah, lots about boys.”
Also not surprising for a high school senior: She’s thinking about college.
“I want to stay here [in New York], so my top choice is The New School,” says Breslin, who was born and raised in the city. “When I’m at home in New York, I just hang with friends and family and do normal teenage stuff. They keep me pretty grounded. I love just hanging out with [them] and venting our emotions.”
“It’s not like I’m Justin Bieber or something, with like mobs and people chasing me,” she jokes.
Breslin is still into acting, too, though. She appears in the upcoming movies Haunter and Ender’s Game, as well as August: Osage County, and says the transition from child star to teen actress has been remarkably smooth.
“I wish I had some great story about the struggle of moving into the more adult roles, but I actually didn’t,” she says. “It’s been pretty natural, the transition into the teen and adult realm. Hopefully it stays that way.”