I always tell my students that cheating does nothing to help them succeed. I understand the temptation to take the easy road, but how has the easy road ever led to a self-satisfying and successful position? I suppose there are exceptions, but how does a cheater ever feel confident about themselves? I remember cheating once on a math test in 2nd grade because I was scared I wouldn't do well, but I always felt so guilty and ashamed about it. I felt as though I was a pretender, a fake, and a liar. Cheating on that test pointed out my lack of confidence, my inability to ask for help, my fear of failure, and would mean admitting that I didn't understand. In trying to save myself, I doomed myself. In cheating, the only one I cheated was myself.
I now understand that making mistakes and getting answers wrong is the best way to learn and move forward in understanding. Mistakes and imperfections are human and help arouse humility. I once heard the quote, "Nobody is perfect, and who wants to be nobody?" Test scores, mistakes, and faults don't present a photograph of who we truly are, but rather it is the effort, the humility, and the character that creates us. We must be willing to accept our faults and our weaknesses in order to grow from them and become strong.