What’s wrong with being self-centered?

Josie Salazar and Josie Salazar

By Josie Salazar
City Times

Are not all students in some ways Narcissistic? On the other hand, is the “you’re special” praise being overly used, causing students to be “stuck up” and “self centered?”

I mean we all have been taught that we have to like who we are in order for others to like us. We also are taught that life on our own can get difficult and we will need all the self-confidence parents can build up in us to get through it.

Otherwise, according to our parents and numerous Psychologists, our self worth could be damaged and we might not succeed to our potential and make a remembered mark in our society.

In response to a recent study released by San Diego State University about college students being narcissistic more then ever, I would like to state that being narcissistic is defiantly a positive trait.

Why? Because I think that with out some narcissism, students like us would be much like what our parents and grandparents were like at our age, closed-minded, sheltered and sometimes timid.

We would not be using the various and numerous strategies to speak out on behalf of whatever we believed in, at least not with out a lot of fear.

Now days, our narcissism allows us to strongly and without fear; stand up for what we believe in without hesitation. But when our parents were our age, there was much debate about fear of standing up for what you believed.

At least now politicians and people like Don Imus, who was recently fired from his radio show for racism remarks, know that our generation will speak out without hesitation in order to get more and faster results then it would of taken for whatever our parents and grandparents stood up for.

I also think that the study needed to take in account that our generation has so much to keep up with, the rising housing markets, the tuition fees and demands of specialized training in fields of work.

With all these demands and increased new ways of communication such as YouTube and Myspace, students seem to have to work harder and faster to keep up with “supply and demand” and that they need to focus on getting themselves established for the future.

If you really think about why we need to be a bit self-centered or “stuck up,” it is because most of our generation has schematically mapped out what we want our lives to be, and all that we are doing is taking every step needed to reach that goal. Its’ almost like the old business phrase “It’s not you, it’s just business.”

In business, that phrase can be justified in many different ways, so can narcissism among students.

As the “baby boomer” generation is now sending us darling kids to college armed with self confidence and self worth (something they themselves had to struggle to find because their parents did not teach that value at the level our parents are teaching us now) many of us students are now figuring out and planning what our next step in life is.

Also, most of us want to make sure that we reach a certain goal before a certain age, hence the increased younger ages that some are now retiring at.

So does that make you narcissistic? According to the study released, yes. They also suggested that generation Y is becoming increasingly impolite. However, I disagree.

I decided to put our little community college to the test. And I am very pleased to report that (narcissism set aside) the overall politeness of students is thriving.

Some of my tests were successful, and some were not. However, between the droopy makeup and toilet paper stuck to my shoe, I learned that chivalry among peers is still prominent. However my study did show a little of gender bias and a fashion cautioness.

I noticed that with the toilet paper test, female students were prominent in pointing out my potential embarrassment. Male students were mostly reserved.

When surveying students, women said they were more comfortable in informing someone if they had something like toilet paper stuck to their shoe, saving them from potential embaressment.

Men however, not wanting to seem negative or embarrass the person by even mentioning it to them stayed quiet.

However, if they were among women, they said that they would rather point it out to their female companion, letting her be the informer in order to save the “victim” of even more embarrassment.

In regards to fashion, both male and female thought that to point out a mistake in fashion like droopy, glossy eye shadow would be to offend that person’s fashion sense.

However, both male and females did agree that if that person were their close friend, they would point out the fashion mistake but only if the friend asked them how they looked or if it was and not a fashion statement, but an obvious mistake such as wearing a different shoe.

So even as narcissism is growing among us students, our chivalry and politeness is still in tact.

I am just very disappointed that the study denounced the very values our parents worked so hard to instill in us.

“Your special” has always had a healthy remedy to my life.

I know that if I had gone through my life without my parents instilling in me that self centeredness and making the same mistakes that I have made, I may not have been able to handle the situations any better then I am now.

I think that San Diego State needs to do more sampling of society and look at all of the other stressors that students might have to become narcissistic in order to overcome.

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Josie Salazar is City Times’ news editor