The recent rise of Generation “I”

College students are becoming more narcissistic and self-centered.

by Cassandra Sundaram

While many incoming students may be concerned about the âÄúfreshman 15,âÄù their waistlines might not be the only thing expanding. Research presented at the Association for Psychological Science Convention in 2010 suggested the size of studentsâÄô egos is also growing, making college kids more narcissistic than they have been in the past.
The Narcissistic Personality Inventory asks for responses to such statements as âÄúIf I ruled the world it would be a better place,âÄù âÄúI think I am a special personâÄù and âÄúI can live my life any way I want to.âÄù Researchers that collect data from these evaluations stated that studentsâÄô NPI scores have steadily increased over the last two decades. The spread of technology and social network sites were noted as  factors in the rise of narcissistic tendencies. These sites allow people to make a public display of their own self-importance. Development of oneâÄôs ego is also greatly influenced by parenting style; incessant repetition of the âÄúyou are specialâÄù mantra may lead some kids to think they are better than others.
College is an intensely competitive atmosphere. Many people are uneager to help fellow classmates for fear they will fall behind in their own schoolwork, or that the people they help might get a better grade than they do. Because we are constantly told to go out and get what we want, we tend to focus only on ourselves. There is no reward for helping someone else out, and because it canâÄôt be quantified, there is an increasing sense that itâÄôs unimportant. But it is important; thatâÄôs what living in the Midwest is all about. No matter how inflated our egos may become, our treatment of others and commitment to community will make us successful, not individual ambition or power.