Zayn Malik thinks he would have been a college lecturer if he hadn't found fame with One Direction.

The 24-year-old pop star became a household name when he was put into the group after auditioning for the 2010 series of 'The X Factor' and though he enjoys his music career, the 'Still Got Time' singer - who quit 1D in 2015 to go solo - can't help but think about ''alternative realities'' and how his life might otherwise have turned out.

He said: ''I think about alternative realities. I think I'd be at university and I would have done my English degree. I think I'd be looking for some employment to do with English lecturing or literature.

''I love poetry and writing - obviously, I'm a songwriter - so, it would've been something that would still give me the feeling of a creative outlet within my writing.''

Zayn - who is dating model Gigi Hadid - thinks his decision to leave One Direction ''reflected'' the fact he was growing up and taking more control of his life.

Speaking to V Man magazine in a preview obtained by E! News, he said: ''I don't think it was necessarily that experience that made me a man. I was becoming a man at that time anyway, and that experience was a validation of my decision-making at that time.

''Maybe I became a bit more in the driver's seat - a bit more in control - and that was the first decision I made that reflected that in my life. I think it was a natural growth as a human being and as a person. I'm still growing every day, as everybody is.

''I don't know everything and I'm willing to learn, so I believe everything is a natural progression.''

The 'Pillowtalk' hitmaker doesn't believe in ''labels'' and accepts that everyone is flawed in some way.

He said: ''For me personally, I don't ever try to dwell so deep on labels and boxes and places that people want to put you. I believe that we as individuals are in charge of the way people perceive us. There are negative and positive sides to every human on this planet.

''That's just the way it is. You just have to accept that. If I were to overthink that, it would affect me.''