I knew the next decision would make or break my academic life. And I only had two minutes to decide what to do. I had been working two jobs and going to school to finish the last of my degree when I realized I had a ten-page paper due the next day. Art history was not on the top of my list for interesting classes and I was barely making a passing grade as it was.
This class was a necessary class for my degree and if I didn’t pass, I wouldn’t graduate. If I didn’t graduate, I would lose everything I had been working toward. But if I pressed submit, I would be submitting a paper mostly written by someone else. I just had to decide if the risk was worth the reward.
If I got caught, I obviously wouldn’t graduate, but could I get into a different college with cheating on my track record? Everything I ever did again at the college level would be scrutinized. But if I didn’t get caught, I would be free and clear and no one would ever have to know. I started to sweat as my mouse hovered over the submit button. I had thirty seconds before the paper was due. My heart raced as I hit the submit button. Better to hope my professor wouldn’t find out, but if he did, I planned to beg for forgiveness. I just didn’t know my fall from grace would come so quickly.