"At that age, actually, youth gives us a level of confidence — it's naivety," she explained to us in an interview backstage. "But, our brains don't change until we're 25, so we're risk-takers.
It's sort of built into our chemistry to take risks. I would say to young people just to take those
risks, but try to be a little calculated about them, and at the very least, try to
have some mentors, people that you can bounce some ideas off of and talk to.
can't help it when we're young," she added. "We're like 'I'm going to reinvent the wheel!' You don't have to do it, you actually don't. You can forge a path, but it's
good to make sure you're there with people around you. If you fall, you want
them to help you up. And, if you get to go to the highest heights, you want them
there to celebrate with you. It's just really important to have people along
"When we're young we think, 'I just want to be a star, I want to be this,'" she told us. "We
have this thing that we want in the future that we're really compromising
ourselves for in the interim, or really trying to please every body and then we
get there… You've got to be very thoughtful about how you get to where you want
to go. You can get there, but it might feel really empty if the journey you
took to get there was not the one that spoke to your heart and mind.
"Confidence is also
a really big deal, but it's hard," Dawson continued. "Sometimes we have that fake confidence and we
brave it, but I think what's really important is to have those people to bounce
ideas off. You might totally disagree with everyone in your community, but it's
really good to have that back-and-forth. You don't want to hear it when you're
reading an article later or scrolling through the comments and hating yourself.
That's how you really have that confidence, when you've really looked at it
through every facet and thought, 'I'm still doing that, it's still what I want