A college attitude

It is said that if you ask a college graduate who is the greatest generation, they may respond by suggesting themselves.

This high degree of self-infatuation amongst teenagers who attend university has been revealed in a new analysis of the American Freshman Survey, which asked students to rate themselves compared to their peers since 1966. Some 9 million young people have taken the survey over the last 47 years.

Does a college degree make us more confident individuals?

Psychologist Jean Twenge, together with her colleagues, compiled the data and found that over a forty-year period, there has been a significant and dramatic rise in the number of students who describe themselves as being ‘above average’ in areas of academic ability, mathematical ability, drive to achieve and self-confidence.

On the other hand, in assessing characteristics that are considered less individualistic such as cooperativeness, understanding others and spirituality, the numbers either stayed the same or slightly decreased over the same period.

Interestingly, the researchers also found an inverse relationship between the student’s opinions of themselves and their actual ability. Given my own background I believe that coming from a caring and supporting family plays the biggest part in building self-confidence and personal success and it is those attributes that will help us through university.

Our personalities are deeply rooted in genetics and our early environment, and without those years being positive, we are less likely to excel in confidence and self-esteem. As individuals we have the potential to create positive experiences as a way of increasing confidence and self-esteem, but like everything those things must come from within.

We must first learn to work with our inner-selves if we are to create confidence and self-esteem in other things too.


9 Jul, 2014

4 thoughts on “A college attitude

  1. I agree with you. I think a positive upbringing plays a very positive bearing on how we think and how much confidence we have in ourselves.

    I do think a lot of people have an attitude of greatness just because they have a degree from college. I know my sister does. She always brings up the fact that she is the one with a bachelors degree, so she knows everything LOL, wrong!

    She doesn’t know everything and it irritates me to no end when she says that. I think some people that have a college degree don’t have common sense and people that don’t have a college degree tend to have more common sense.

    My oldest daughter is the same way. She has a college degree yet seems to lack in the common sense arena. Maybe it’s that they spent all those years in college, yet not out in the world gaining the common sense.

    Teens seem to think they know it all anyway, so thinking they are the greatest generation is all in their head. Just because you went to college, especially a well known college like Yale, or Harvard, don’t make you the greatest.

    1. I agree with your response, thanks Lisa. Yes we can have a degree and have no common sense and have no college degree and have lots of common sense. I know one or two people personally with college diplomas and degrees who have no common sense.

      I believe greatness often comes from ego. Greatness can come from confidence too of course, but usually through too much confidence we fuel our ego.

  2. I don’t think a college degree per se makes us more confident and the lack of one less confident. I think there is a distinction between confidence and those people that perhaps the study did not explore. Sure some people with a college eduction will be very self confident, but is that a direct result of their education? I suspect not.

    There will always be people with degrees who are confident and those without who are not and vice versa. There will always be others who are egotists and those without a degree who are not egotists, college educated or not.

    I have alway thought an eduction does not make the person, although a number of my family think the opposite. I have a degree and I am quite self-confident but in my case I doubt very much that the two are linked.

    1. Thank you and I agree. I also know family who hold people with a college degree in high esteem.

      I personally think the opposite. It’s good to have a degree, but we need common sense to go with our degree. We will go further with common sense in life than we will with a degree without the common sense.

      I believe a degree will open a door, but common sense will open a multitude of doors.

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