Disclaimer: Cheating isn't bad. But getting caught, being sent to the principal's office, the principal embarrassing you in front of your parents, the awkward drive home before getting yelled at by your folks, are bad. And no, you're not too smart to get caught. So, don't cheat.
School days were probably some of the best days of our lives.
Remember P.T periods, class bunks, singing Gooooooood Mooooorning Ma’am, and finishing lunch during the first period while the teacher was looking away? Of course, you do! All of those memories are beyond happiness, they are almost divine.
But the one part of school that sucked for most of us were exams.
I was an average student in class and even though I got good enough grades at the end of the mayhem, they weren’t impressive enough for the ridiculous PTA meetings. A 91/100 was in no way as good as a 100/100. Let’s just say, grades defined us and it was the most uncool thing about school. But that is a topic for another day. What we gotta talk about is cheating.
The reason I resorted to cheating was pretty straight. I cheated not for good grades, but for that thrill, I did it for the rush I got out of cheating. You know the kind you get when you do something that you’re not supposed to do? That rush. It almost makes you feel like a rock star when you walk out of the examination hall, having defied all authority.
The first time I cheated, it was only for that rush and not good grades. But I got busted and someone else who was doing the same thing, got away easy.
I made a chit (because having a phone was equivalent to being a billionaire then), the size of a standard sticky note, and spent an hour filling it with all the relevant math formulae. There were about 20 of them on that little piece of paper. I felt so crazy while making it, for half of my brain was laughing at me saying, “Lol! Stop doing this. You are not even going to make it to the examination hall with this in your possession."
So anyway, I reach the examination hall with the chit. An hour into the paper, I slowly reached for my sock, stealthily took the chit out and started solving questions at the speed of light. An hour and a half into the paper, the invigilator noticed me and BAM! I was busted. In that very moment, I saw another kid cheating from a chit with the confidence of God! So, my sheet was taken away and that God kid just sat there and smirked at me while I left the room. I squinted back like I was prepared for war. Nothing ever happened after that because I don't do wars.
Helping someone else cheat is also cheating. Willingly and unwillingly I ended up doing it quite often. Sadly, I got caught almost all the time.
During the 10th board exam, this kid, who was also a friend, kept kicking me from behind asking me to show him the answer to this question. It was the Sanskrit paper and I was like the Sanskrit genius. So, I showed him the paper but I was very very careful. He and I got away with it and I was on top of the world. I mentioned the same in my journal that day, in caps!
Now, if you had taken science in class 11, you’d know exactly the pain one can go through. It is horrendous, to say the least. Especially, if you had taken PCMB (Lol, worst decision ever!).
So, it was the Chemistry exam and there were way too many equations to memorise. I desperately wanted to pass and so, I spent the half hour before the test to fill my palm with all the important equations and sat for the paper. A minute into the exam, there was a big smile on my face. I knew every question. I didn’t even need my hand anymore except to write, of course.
Two hours into the paper, I was just about to finish but I needed an extra sheet (I felt like a topper in that moment and so I asked for it, like a boss!). The feeling of accomplishment hovered my brain so powerfully that I raised the hand with the scribbles of the equations, palm facing the teacher’s face. She walked towards me, her eyes fixated on my raised hand, and in that moment, I knew no body could have ever, in the history of time, been as stupid as I was.
So, yeah! Some of my marks got deducted and my parents were called.
Did I learn my lesson? Sadly, no, not at that time.
I did cheat occasionally, most often to help others. It is not something I am proud of. I am also not very proud of my cheating skills because I hardly managed to get away with it. Perhaps, it was fate's way of making me mend my ways.
But the thing about cheating is that kids can’t be blamed entirely if the education system was always designed to encourage kids to cheat. As Nerdwriter1, a YouTube video essayist, says,
Let's never buy into that bullshit that I am the only one responsible for my actions or you are the only one responsible for yours, we're all responsible for one another.
Did you cheat in school, too? Because I did and, as you read, I sucked at it.
Author's note: Do not cheat and don't do drugs!