Tuesday, July 2, 2013

The Culture of Cheating

Recently, I have been remembering things from my past. The time when everything was simpler and all I had to worry was homeworks. The first time I cheated was when I sat on the 8th grade. As a student, I considered myself pretty good at every lessons. I managed to get decent grades, even without cheating. I cheated because I wanted to know what it feels like. As many of you know, at the age of 14, everyone follows their friends behavior. That's exactly what I did back then. I cheated because everyone else did.

I personally think cheating is a cultural thing. Everybody who ever goes to school cheats. Well, for the sake of everyone else who doesn't, let's say 90% of students cheat. It's not that they are stupid or doesn't want to try to learn, it's just because everybody else does it and sometimes, the teacher couldn't care less if their students cheat. Many of my friends back in high school studied together. Sometimes, I would join and tutored them a little. Doing our homeworks were easy, and everybody could do it without copying each other. We would share our answers once we had done to double check. But when in test, my friends would copy each other's works. It was like they didn't have the confidence to did the test without cheating. That's why I think that cheating is part of the school culture, just like prom dance, seniority, popular and nerdy kids, etc. It was part of school life, at least from a student's point of view.

I had this one friend, who has the resources to study with private tutors and study groups, but still ended up cheating to get better grades. At another point in my life, I had this one friend who was already the best in some practical lessons, but as it turned out he cheated his way through the theoretical lessons to get perfect score. There are many reasons why student cheat, and nothing can justify them right. Cheating is cheating and it is wrong. It's actually sad that it has become a cultural thing, especially in schools. On the other hand, I didn't think it would be easy to erase the cheating culture.

However, everything is possible as long as we make the first step. I think it will at least reduce the number of cheaters if we start at our self. If I didn't cheat, other people will see my not cheating and hopefully someone will be moved to stop cheating. At one opportunity, one of my friend actually said, "If everybody else cheats, why shouldn't I?"

Hopefully one day, I get to rephrase the question and ask,
"If everybody else doesn't cheat, why should I?"

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