Despite Today’s Standards, Cheaters Do Not Prosper:Cutting Corners Allows Students to Benefit Now, But Not in the Future


Graphic By William Gangnath

In response to recent hazing allegations and then charges for five JV football players at Damascus, all athletic directors held a meeting with fall athletes that reviewed MCPS hazing policies.

What does it really mean to get an “A” on a report card? For a lot of students, to get a good grade is simply to copy other people’s work. So what does putting in your own time and effort actually get you?

Sure, in high school all you need is to get passing grades to graduate, but the students who apply themselves and work hard will ultimately go further in life. More often than not, higher level classes are filled with students with good grades. But these good grades do not necessarily mean that they deserve them; oftentimes, their grades signify their above-average skills in cheating.

Mooching off others’ work and not putting in your own efforts will not get you far in life, and by your own efforts, we do not mean using your energy to do the copying. Moreover, doing the most to amp up your transcript with things you do not care about, or stressing over every little thing down to a T is not the way to go either.

In life beyond high school, you cannot necessarily cheat your way to what you want; you have to actually work hard to achieve it, not just cut corners and achieve excellence when you know it will matter, and sit back and slack off for the rest of the time.

Students in high school get so used to being constantly babied by their teachers, who are always on their backs about getting their work in on time, or even at all. In real life, no one is there to incessantly remind you what you have to do and when, or to help you cheat your way through an assignment.

Realistically, the only way to get to where you want to be is to dedicate yourself to it and put everything you have into it. There is no “cheating your way to the top” in any workplace, where you either do what you’re told the first time or get suspended or even fired.

Employers and college admissions officers want to see that whoever they take has a good character, but with everyone constantly copying and cheating to enhance their performance, they can have a hard time telling who legitimately works hard – and cares about the work they are doing. No one wants to work with someone who never pulls their weight.

So why should students strive for the best and put hard work into their high school career? The work you put in now will educate you and create opportunities and valuable experiences for yourself later in life.
The reality is that the hard work that you put in will determine your level of success. Not to mention that gliding your way through school is really only hurting yourself and will create hardships going forward.

Does someone with all As who cheated their way through high school deserve to go to college more than someone who gets Bs and Cs, but does their own work?

Once they have earned their college degree, they both go right back to the bottom, and have to work their way up again. The only difference is that one of them actually cares enough to put effort into what they want, whereas the other simply wants it to be handed to them.