In the latest study flushed from the ivory tower of academia, psychologists concluded that college students are more narcissistic than ever before. Apparently, this is an alarming consequence for society because narcissists “favor self-promotion over helping others.” But so what if we college students do spend most of our time talking about ourselves and flaunting our extensive accomplishments: It’s not narcissism if we really are better than everyone else.

Sarah Royce

The study defined narcissists merely as those who agree with the most obvious of statements like, “If I ruled the world, it would be a better place.” First of all, who would disagree? And besides, the study failed to recognize the true achievements of college-aged adults – triumphs unparalleled by any preceding generation.

Led by five over-the-hill psychology professors from across the country, the study failed to account for the fact that even from an early age, others recognized and cultivated our generation’s capacity for greatness. The many celebrated exploits of current college student date back well into the 1980s, to that magical first memory most of us have. Sensory-motor skills barely at hand, we heard for the first time the indisputable declaration that we are special. First it was our mom, then our grandparents and then a big yellow bird even had to agree we were truly unique – on TV.

The late Mr. Rogers, among others, was a pioneer in recognizing our preeminent achievement. Almost on a daily basis, Rogers would invite us to move into his highly selective neighborhood. Rogers, a grown-up, had his pick of any person in America to be his neighbor, yet he chose not to go after your Kim Basingers, Jean-Claude Van Dammes or Joe Carters. He went on national television to appeal to us young aspiring minds. He and others told us every time they saw us that, whatever it was, we could do it. We were that special.

Then we headed off to school, where our greatness wasted no time in coming to light. Snagging the first of many student-of-the-month awards that first semester, we went on to build a solid academic portfolio, with uncountable certificates of merit, certificates of recognition, certificates of achievement and more than a couple of smiley faces on returned tests.

Recently, we illustrious minds moved out of Mr. Roger’s neighborhood and onto college campuses. Nothing could have prepared the world for the whirlwind of progress we wrought. The level of change we have effected is truly remarkable, worthy of the great reformers of all time. One of thousands of examples, the Facebook group “David Beckham > Superman” set the record straight on a common misconception that catalyzes many of the world’s most explosive conflicts, baffling even the most qualified of international relations theorists.

Some argue that our innovative means of changing the world one Facebook group at a time is meaningless, insincere and lazy. Clearly these haters haven’t gotten wind of the selfless sacrifices of the good men and women behind “For Every 1,000 that join this group I will donate $1 for Darfur.” With over 400,000 members, the group has thrown about as much cash at the world’s most shamefully overlooked atrocity as the U.S. government.

The feats of the current college generation just keep coming. Last year, we were finally recognized by a major national publication, as we should have been a decade ago. Picking up a December issue of Time magazine we were humbled – though hardly shocked – to see we had been named Person of the Year. Considering out groundbreaking work in lip-synching songs on YouTube, and writing ourselves in as the current James Bond on Wikipedia, the award was well deserved.

By misconstruing our factual, tangible greatness as somehow narcissistic, the report ignores this recent crowning achievement from Time, which officially notes that every single college student is indeed just as awesome as Mahatma Gandhi, Franklin Roosevelt and Martin Luther King Jr.

The study’s attempt to aggrandize the self-esteem of the older demographic by marginalizing our achievement and serving to sooth the social rejection felt by the associate professors who conducted this so-called research is truly alarming. Never has academia committed a more serious offense.

Right, Mr. Rogers?

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