Cheating: When is it Acceptable? (Never!)

By Elluminanda Reyes 

The Rough Rider (Honolulu, Hawaii)

Cheating, in my opinion, is never acceptable. Whether you’re cheating on a test, on your boyfriend or taking steroids to vastly gain muscle and strength, it’s just wrong. To cheat means that you are not only weak, but dishonest and unfair. There are various ways for you to cheat, but in the end, you are only cheating yourself.

For instance,  you are in a relationship with someone and you decide to cheat because you are unhappy. You cheat because you hope to find whatever it is that is absent from your relationship with someone else. For one, you are not only wasting your girlfriend or boyfriend’s time, but also wasting your own as well. You’re taking the time to make time for someone else who has nothing to do with your relationship. The time that you are using to be with someone else could be spent with your girlfriend/boyfriend on fixing the problem.  In addition, you’re making the problem even worse. Secrets will eventually spill, regardless if it’s from guiltiness or if someone else told your other half. Other than fixing out the problem with your boyfriend/girlfriend, you could easily be truthful with your other half. If you feel the relationship is unhealthy and that there is no way it could be fixed, then you should be truthful to your other half and tell him/her how you feel. Cheating in a relationship is an example of some of the worst ways to cheat.

Another example of cheating is on a test. Let’s imagine that you’re in AP statistics and you see  that your teacher wrote on the board announcing that you will have a quiz on section 2.0 to 2.5 next Tuesday. Yet, you don’t take the time to note that you will be having a quiz in your planner or on your phone. Fast forward to Tuesday morning and your teacher orders the class to put their bags away and to clear their desks, and you remember that you have a quiz, a quiz that you did not study for. So you decide to take the risk of cheating. You open your book to section 2.0 and snap pictures on your phone throughout section 2.5. You place the phone between your thighs on your chair and pretend you’re looking at your paper when you’re actually looking at your phone. You’re thinking to yourself that your teacher will not see you and that she’s gullible, so you don’t worry. You’re finally done and hand it over to your teacher, but once it’s in her hands, she tears your paper and announces that you get a zero on your quiz. Why did the teacher tear up your quiz? First, it’s unfair to the rest of the class. It’s unfair to the students who actually took the time to write in their planner and who took the time to study for the quiz so why should you have the privilege of looking at the answers. Secondly, obviously, you did the wrong thing and that it is a school rule that you are not to cheat on any test/ quiz that is given to you. Lastly, you could’ve tried your best on the quiz and did it honorably. Maybe you didn’t study, but you could have chose to make educated guesses or use methods like the process of elimination. If you did the right thing, your teacher might have given you another chance to retake the quiz, but since you cheated, you know she will not allow that.

A last example of cheating would be to cheat yourself. You won’t get in trouble by the teacher or by your girlfriend, but you cheat yourself. You’re in weight lifting class and in two weeks, you have a lifting competition. You’re tired of being in second place and you finally want to be in first. You know you will never get as buff as John, who won the last three lifting competitions. You have decided that you will use steroids in order to help you win first place. “Ah, it’s only pills; I’ll only use it for this one time and it can’t possibly ruin my body.” So you use the pills for the competition and you won first place for the first time and you’re so proud of yourself and you feel so accomplished. But five months have passed by and your body feels different. Your muscles are turning into fat and starts to sag. You go to the doctors and realize that you have body problems because of the use of the steroids and that the only way to fix the problem would be to get surgery done, which you know you can’t afford. You start to cry and you feel guilty for not only cheating in the competition, but for ruining your body’s health. This is an example of how cheating can physically and mentally harm you. You cheat yourself not thinking about the risks that you are taking. You’re simply doing it for the thrill, but sooner or later, the consequences will come. Whether it takes 20 minutes in class or 5 months to pass.

There are many ways to cheat and there will be times when you get away with it or get caught.  No matter what, you will always be cheating yourself and the consequences will always come back to you, no matter what. Think about what you’re going to do before you take the initiative to do it. Being truthful is always the right thing to do, for yourself and for others.

Photo Credit: Alvin Trusty

About Grace Masback

Grace Masback, 17, aspires to give voice to the voiceless and holds the modest ambition of becoming the voice of Gen Z. Frustrated by the dearth of impactful platforms for teen journalists, she founded WANT, a news, sports, and entertainment website that aggregates the best in high school journalism from school newspapers and teen bloggers around the world (www.wantnewsforteens.com).

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