Why It's Ok to be Selfish

Despite the fact that we live in a very selfless society, we have all heard the exceptions of when we are allowed to be selfish, like when you need sleep, have a ridiculously busy schedule, need a little me time, or when the person is a habitual favor-abuser. It’s like anything else: too much of a good thing is a bad thing.

However, there is a more fundamental reason for being selfish and it boils down to being independent. When someone asks for a favor or we offer our help willingly, ultimately we are sacrificing our time and energy for that person. This is not a bad thing: it’s part of being a caring human who is capable of generosity. The issue comes in at the bottom line. When it boils down to you and the other person, who are you going to pick?

The expected socially-correct answer would, of course, be to prioritize the other person. It’s the good thing, the right thing not only to say, but to think. The issue is, if you are so busy looking out for someone else, who is going to look out for you? We all have loved ones and friends that we like to think will always have our back, but there will come a situation or a time when we will have to be independent and self-reliant. It’s a matter of our success over someone else’s. And if no one else is there, then that responsibility falls entirely on us. Therefore, we have to make a conscious decision to prioritize us, even if it isn’t the most acceptable thing to do.

Finals season and the end of the semester are approaching, which means a hectic schedule for every college student in the country. Between club events, exams, research papers, making summer plans, and packing for storage, we’re completely overextended. This makes it all the more important to be selfish: to devote our energy solely on ourselves and be ok with it.