Just Cocky College Kids or “Deluded Narcissists”

by Ryan on January 10, 2013

in Anything Else,Culture,Economy,Media Bias,Pop Culture

An exhaustive study indicates that Millennials, those who were born from c. 1982-1999, have a wildly inflated sense of self-infatuation and a notable overconfidence.  When asked about their abilities, their “above average” attitude didn’t match their level of achievement.

But is this study just a reflection of college students being college students or is there some real narcissism here that exposes a deeper problem?

The American Freshmen Survey study itself spanned 47 years and nine million students, so the article is highlighting a change in attitudes not just a snap shot.  The article points to narcissism on the rise, which has been encouraged through parenting-styles, social media, easy credit, and our celebrity-obsessed culture.  Narcissism is defined by the article as “excessive self-love or vanity; self-admiration, or being self-centered.”

In a response to this study on Fox News, psychiatrist Dr. Keith Ablow completely agrees that this attitude is both present and harmful to our children.  In fact, while Albow’s piece is rather cutting, it’s also very insightful.  He’s going with the “deluded narcissist” take on today’s college youth because their environment has turned them into “faux celebrities.”  Give it a read, it’s a great article!

I’ve been a certified public school teacher for nearly thirteen years, which is long enough to form my own educated opinion about Millennials.  Generations have pulls in different directions based on birth years.  For example, as a younger Xer (b. 1977) I wore Seattle-inspired plaid with boots in high school, but my sister as an older Xer (b. 1969) tried to look like Madonna at the same age.  Same generation (c. 1965-1981), different pulls.

The older Millennials are generally pretty cool people (many are my colleagues now) and seem to be coping with the realities of being late twenty-somethings pretty well.  Confident, but not always asses about it — most of them had to earn trophies as a kids.

The younger Millennials, those born after 1990, however, are much more cocky than confident — cocky, but deeply fragile too;  they expect good grades, whether they’ve earned them or not (“B” is the new “C” nowadays);  plus, their overprotective parents are usually hovering nearby ready to inject their child’s self-esteem with more delusions.  I also agree with the findings of the study and Dr. Ablow’s assessment of it.

Oh, and they’ll be entering the workforce in droves pretty soon — yikes!

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