Survey says: selfish

Belinda Stasiukiewicz

A new study by five San Diego psychologists states that today’s college students are more narcissistic, self-involved and egotistical than college students of the past.

According to the Associated Press, a total of 16,475 college students between 1982 and 2006 participated in the study by completing a “Narcissistic Personality Inventory” (NPI) evaluation. They responded to statements ranging from “If I ruled the world, it would be a better place,” to “I think I am a special person.” Their answers were then recorded and analyzed by the psychologists, including lead author Professor Jean Twenge of San Diego State University.

The researchers have come to the conclusion that college students today are too self-involved by observing that the NPI scores have risen in current years. In 2006, two-thirds of the students had above-average scores, which is 30 percent more than in 1982. Twenge thinks that the parents are to blame.

“We need to stop endlessly repeating ‘You’re special’ and having children repeat that back,” Twenge said. “Kids are self-centered enough already.”

Since when is students thinking highly of themselves a new thing? Conceit runs in all generations, sexes and races. It’s common knowledge that people are selfish. It may be parents driving it into our heads that we’re great, but that’s only because they want us to do better than they did, which we are.

This survey doesn’t tell us anything. It took 24 years to tell us that college kids are selfish? Take a look around a college campus. Note the Coach bags, expensive haircuts and cell phones used to discuss “important” plans. Everyone is living for themselves.

With the advance of technology future college generations are going to be a lot worse than us. It still amazes me when I see my little brother looking online, prank calling people on his cell phone and complaining about how he hates school and doesn’t have enough time for himself. I think Twenge and her fellow psychologists stopped their study too soon.

So what if college kids are increasingly selfish? Pretty soon we’re going to be getting married, having babies and holding down jobs; all things where we have to put other people before ourselves. Let us be selfish. This is youth; we should enjoy it. It doesn’t last forever.