College isn’t all fun and games like the movies would have you believe. It’s stressful. Sometimes, it can get so crazy that you feel like you’re drowning in an endless sea of assignments, obligations, and responsibilities. It’s in those hectic, overwhelming periods of time that you might be tempted to download your paper off of a website or copy the homework from your friend. It sure is easier, and at the time, it might seem like nothing. I mean, these days it seems like everyone cheats. In fact, statistics show that as much as 75% of college students admit to cheating at some point. However, your academic integrity matters more than you could ever realize. Here’s how.
Your professors aren’t stupid. Sure, you might get away with cheating for a while, but the chances are that you’ll eventually get caught. Between plagiarism detecting software and your instructor’s experience, you won’t get away with cheating for long.
If you get caught cheating in college, there are a lot of horrible repercussions that might come your way as a result. Some universities and state colleges expel those caught cheating on the first offense. Others have a policy that you fail the course on your first offense, and you must retake it. If you’re lucky, your professor will only fail you without reporting you. No matter what, you’re looking at a world of trouble that might just end your academic career before it even starts.
Cheating means that you didn’t learn the material. Even your seemingly “useless” general classes help develop a background knowledge that can shape the way you interpret the more focused courses for your degree program. You will probably use most of the information you learn even in your obscure classes at some point in your life. Cheating just throws the opportunity to learn into the trash.
Your professors, your friends, and your colleagues will respect you more for an honest F than a dishonest A. Cheating makes you look cowardly, weak, and corrupt. Failing with your integrity intact makes you look honest and brave.
Even if the cheating never comes to light, you will find that you respect yourself a little less than if you earned the grade yourself.
The old saying “cheaters never prosper” isn’t all true. Sometimes cheaters become doctors, lawyers, and teachers. However, cheating will eventually come back to haunt them. A doctor who cheated to become a doctor is not the one you want treating complicated cases. A teacher who cheated to get their license probably won’t be a good teacher. Lawyers who cheat are likely going to lose more cases than they win. Their careers will never be as good as they could have been.
Your integrity is precious. It makes people trust your word, give you bigger responsibilities, and opens opportunities. It is worth more to you than money, time, or even a 4.0 GPA. Throwing your integrity away is like burning a bridge you’re trying to cross. You’ll never know what’s on the other side. Being honest, doing your work, and accepting the grade you earned is more important than some facade of a grade you didn’t deserve.
College is overwhelming at times. However, what is more, overwhelming is dealing with the consequences of cheating. It’s not worth it. Be brave enough to keep your academic integrity, and you will be surprised by how much easier college can be when you’re honest.