Cheating can get you in serious trouble
Every school has a cheating policy, and punishments can be pretty harsh, starting with an automatic F or Zero on the test or assignment, and going all the way up to getting kicked out of school. If you cheat to get a better grade, you're taking a big risk of getting a much worse grade that will seriously set you back. Getting booted from school will set you back even more.
Cheating is unfair to you
You've probably heard an old saying that goes: "When you cheat, you're really cheating yourself." Sure, it sounds corny, but it does make a lot of sense. School can help make you a better person in many ways, and help you learn the things you need to live a fulfilling life. If you never really learn these things because you're cheating, then all you're going to learn is how to cheat! It can be difficult to look towards the future like that when you're freaking about
tomorrow's big test, but try to have faith in the big picture.
Cheating is unfair to your friends
It's important to play fair in games and sports, and that goes for school, too. If you've ever had a friend who was so determined to win at all costs that she cheated at whatever game you played, you know how upsetting this can be. You're playing by the rules, and then someone does better than you by breaking the rules. It stinks, and it's unfair. When you cheat in school to get better grades, it's unfair to the kids who actually studied and did the work.
Cheating can lead to more cheating
Have you ever told a lie, and then found that you had to tell more and more lies just to hide the fact that you told a lie in the first place? Cheating can be like this, too. Say, for instance, someone didn't want to learn the multiplication table, so instead she wrote down the answers on her binder. When the class starts doing more difficult problems, she won't know the basics and might cheat to make up for it. Every time you cheat, you're not learning skills and lessons that could be important later on.
Cheating destroys trust
In order for school to work smoothly, students and teachers have to trust one another. People who cheat are telling their teachers that they're not trustworthy, and this can make getting through the school year a lot more difficult. Your teacher might be suspicious of everything you hand in, and it can be very hard to win back that trust.
Cheating is the same as lying
Some people who get away with cheating on a test or homework assignment will brag about it to friends, like it's something to be proud of or that proves how clever they are. But it's not so common to hear someone bragging about being a liar, right? That's because most of us don't think very highly of someone who lies. Think about this: every time you hand in schoolwork that you cheated on, it's like telling the teacher that you did it totally on your own. If this isn't true, then what you're doing is lying.
You can't be proud of cheating
When you accomplish something on your own, it makes you proud. Remember the first time you rode a bike by yourself? It probably felt great. Now imagine that you never rode that bike by yourself, but always had training wheels to help you. You wouldn't be as proud, would you? Cheating is like having those training wheels on your bike all the time. You might get an A on a test or an assignment, but you'll know that you really didn't earn it.
In the next section, we look at some ideas on how to Take Action! against cheating.