Cheating has always been an issue. Since we were in high school, the idea of getting an easy A without putting in the work required had a greater force than our ethics and morals. I’m guilty of it as well, and I’m sure that, if you’re reading this, you have done it too. However, during my sophomore year I heard about a terrible incident in my mathematics class where three people were suspended for a week because they were cheating with their mobile devices during the final exam. This was like a punch in the head—a very needed one. I realized then that cheating has its consequences. However, even though this academic epidemic has been around us since forever, it amazes me how the issue is still increasing at an alarming rate. A 2015 study by Time Magazine said that 82 percent of recent college graduates admitted to cheating in some way during their college years as undergraduates. This is unacceptable, unethical and undermining.
It doesn’t matter if you wrote a tiny note on your hand to remind you a mathematics formula or if you looked for the answers in your phone when the professor was not looking—it is still cheating, which means you are committing academic fraud. We are not in high school anymore to use the excuse that we are too young to understand the mistakes we make. So, when you cheat, you must realize that in college the punishment doesn’t end in suspension or expulsion. Any violation of the rules outlined in the college rulebook can potentially punish you for the rest of your life. For instance, committing academic misconduct may leave you without the opportunity to get into another college and even worse, may close the doors to a good job you encounter in your professional path.
Now let me ask you, why are you in college? Out of all possible answers, I can confidently say that none of us attend college to determine how to have unethical academic standards. We must remind ourselves about this every time you think of cheating. We are in college to learn, from the good and the bad. If you didn’t organize your time efficiently and as a result didn’t study properly for an exam, perform the test in an honest way and let that honesty show you something. I promise you will regret cheating more than failing one test and knowing you can recover later.
As an international student, I could whine about how students should stop cheating and appreciate their education more because as residents or citizens they do not have to pay as much as international students do. However, the issue is not about how much money we pay for college, it is about our essence as well-educated individuals that aspire to be professional individuals with a knowledgeable background. So please, stop contributing to this embarrassing percentage and let’s get rid of deception all together.