you know what the most crucial part of transforming from a child into an adult is? It’s realizing that, from now on, you and only you will be responsible for where your life goes. Gone are the times when you were surrounded by a group of adults who were cheering you on and catching you every time you fell. It’s all up to you now.
If you are fortunate enough to be a university student, you need to know that the only person deeply invested in ensuring that you get the best value for your money is you. As a university prof, I do all I can to help my students succeed. Ultimately, though, it’s their job to get as much as they can out of their studies.
The other day, I stumbled across a post that contained the following statements:
I think its hilarious when students write their papers the night before and get top marks. Only because I’ve done this. It’s the ultimate best when teachers warn you to start the project or essay months before and say that you’ll fail otherwise. Challenge accepted. Most of my teachers told our class that if we used wikipedia they would be able to tell, and it would be wrong. Welp, I used wikipedia in almost every paper, and guess what? They couldn’t tell, and I was right. Sign of brilliance.
This blogger is very proud of having cheated her profs. In reality, however, the person she really scammed is herself. Her profs are doing great in their lives. They have well-paid cushy jobs, lots of free time, a highly respected social status. And they got all that by being serious about their studies and their work. They can offer their students suggestions on how to do well but they can’t (and don’t really want to) stuff this knowledge down anybody’s throat by force.
I’m sure that there have been students who managed to get plagiarized papers they had copied off Wikipedia by me. But who is the real loser in this situation? I went home at the end of the day to my great life, my comfortable lifestyle, my research, my travels. They are the ones who were left with less knowledge and less skills they could have possessed had they taken their studies more seriously. They were the ones who had to go out into an hospitable job market and compete for employment with graduates who had been serious about their work in college.
The cheaters, in the meanwhile, were left with memories of scamming themselves out of an education they paid for as the only mark of their brilliance.
And that’s kind of pathetic.