"In college there was a time I felt lost and had the blues. I wanted to write songs, but I didn't know how to make it a career," she explains. "But I also knew I'd be happy working eight minimum-wage jobs to try to pull it off."
So that's exactly what Jepsen did. "I was doing every job imaginable to pay rent while I was pursuing this career," she says. "I guess I like the hunger of not knowing if things will work out."
But thanks to fellow Canadian and music superstar Justin Bieber, Jepsen's career took off when he helped launch her debut single "Call Me Maybe."
"Justin leads by example," she says of getting advice from the 18-year-old heartthrob. "I love that he works hard and has fun."
"I was in Paris promoting my new album, Kiss, for three days with no time off. So I went out at four in the morning to go explore the entire city," the "Good Time" singer recalls. "I try to make moments happen that feel very special and memorable because that's exactly how Justin does it."
And like Bieber, who recently split from girlfriend Selena Gomez, Jepsen went through a breakup in June 2012 with Jordi Ashworth, the man who inspired her "Call Me Maybe" hit. But Jepsen has already managed to find love again with singer Matthew Koma.
"When you meet the right person, you're just like, Wow! I’m having the busiest year of my life and somehow I've met an amazing person who has been a grounding force," the Grammy-nominated singer says. "I don't think anything can get in the way if you both really want it badly."
For more on Carly, go to www.seventeen.com/Carly and pick up the March issue of Seventeen, on newsstands Feb. 5.
Sign up now for the Us Weekly newsletter to get breaking celebrity news, hot pics and more delivered straight to your inbox!