Don’t cheat yourself

Caitlin Cryan

Like any responsible college student, I care about my grades. I am striving for that elusive 4.0, and to get there I know that I have to put in hard work and effort. But to some of my peers this seems to exclude the hard work and effort part. They know that if they sit in the back of the class they can have their phone on their lap and Google every answer, or they sit close to the “smart kid” so they can catch sneak peeks at their answers.

I put in long hours locked away in my room cramming for midterms. I read and reread the textbook, take notes and make flashcards to achieve the highest grade that I possibly can. When I get a grade back that I know I earned and worked hard for I am not only happy because of the high grade, I feel an extra sense of validation. Nothing irks me more though, than when a professor praises another student for their high marks when they might as well be praising Google.

In 2012, 51 percent of students surveyed admit to cheating on at least one exam in that academic year, according to a study published online by the Best College Review. They also discovered that there is no one demographic that are “cheaters,” members of every demographic in schools cheat.

Cheating is normal this day in age. The days of scribbling everything you need to know on your hand or on the label of your water bottle are gone. Now it is easier than ever with the advancements in technology. Phones are faster and more powerful than ever, while being sleek and easy to hide from an older professor. Smart watches give you access to information, without even having to be sneaky.

With all of this advancement, cheating doesn’t even hold the same social stigma as it once did. In the past, students would never admit to each other that they cheated out of embarrassment, but now they proudly say it to anyone (just not a professor of course).  I have even seen two students high five after discovering that they both cheated on the same exam.

I urge to bring back the times when students held themselves and their peers accountable for their actions. Don’t let your friends just skate by, and hold yourself up to a higher standard. Don’t let cheating remain a social norm. Yes, putting in the extra work sucks, but the result of your hard work will be so much more gratifying and beneficial in the long run.