Rethinking Millennials

UHS students can often be found absorbed in their phones. Courtesy of Nancy Wu.

By NANCY WU
Staff Writer

The Millennial Generation, or “Generation Y,” is the rising superpower in America. They are roughly defined as the group of people born in 1980s to early 2000s.

Millennials have been labeled as entitled, narcissistic, and interested only in their Facebook pages. The latest release of the American Freshman Survey, an annual survey for thousands of freshmen in college, revealed that four out of five students regard themselves as gifted. To Psychiatrist Dr. Keith Ablow, the survey results prove a “rocketing sense of entitlement on U.S. campuses.” He believes that “we are raising a generation of deluded narcissists.”

However, there are others that do not share the same theory of deluded narcissism. Some consider Generation Y to be civil-minded, deeply involved in the community, and interested in government. Volunteer rates have skyrocketed, as well as applications for service-oriented jobs..

Jean M. Twenge, a psychologist and professor at San Diego State University, is famously known for believing that our youth is more narcissistic than that of previous generations. In her book, Generation Me, she concluded that there is “a clear cultural shift toward individualism and focusing on self.” The public response to Generation Me and her other work, The Narcissism Epidemic: Living in the Age of Entitlement, was nothing but supportive. The growing attention toward Facebook and Twitter, selfies, the rise of plastic surgery, and our focus on self-improvement all point to a generation of narcissism.

“The opinion that Millennials are more egotistical is a fact more than an opinion,” says Mr. Garcia, an English teacher at UHS. “Parents reinforce everything you [Millennials] do, giving you an unrealistic view of how world is going to treat you. Technology now makes us believe that we are the center of the universe.”

Regardless, some people continue to argue that Millennials show more civil-mindedness and selflessness than other generations. They have also claimed that young people will always be more narcissistic than older people. But the Millennial Generation has also shown the greatest increase in equality and tolerance, which is clearly a positive development.

Several students here at University High also have contrasting views on the subject. “With technology now, we have become more conscious of our appearance, causing us to care more about looking good,” says Daniel Lee (Jr.), “so instead of self-loving, we’re more self-conscious which can lead to egotism.” Harry Liang (So.) said, “We have a different society, but we are not necessarily more narcissistic.”

Despite any generation stereotypes, there is no denying the great influence this generation has on our future. They are the future businessmen, future teachers, future presidents, and change and cultural trends will be controlled by the hands of the Millennial Generation.

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