I hate myself for cheating

I cheated on 3 exams last semester. I got caught in one subject and I will receive a failing grade for the class. I know I am stupid for cheating. Stupid for using Chegg thinking I would not get caught because everyone else seems to post. I have no excuse, I am dumb. And its scary to think that if I was not caught, I’d probably think of this lightly and might continue doing this for the next semester. So I’m glad I got caught but at the same time so afraid of the consequence I might face.

I was academically honest the whole time before that sem… My friends from high school to college can attest to that. But now, that doesn’t matter. I feel like because I cheated that semester, I feel like all my hard work from the previous years and from now onwards is invalid, that no one will ever believe in me, that people would not recognize my efforts for the good grades that I have because I cheated that semester. I am so ashamed and I know this is one of the consequence I must face because I cheated.

I want to hide from embarrassment. I want to transfer school and even want to stop studying for a while to reassess my values in life. Because I don’t think I can do this. I am so ashamed of myself. I don’t know what to do.

No need to panic. You just got caught 1 time. Study hard <3

I already have grades for the other two subjects i cheated on. If the professors reached out to chegg regarding the questions posted, my ip address would show up. They can still file a case against me. I might be suspended/expelled from this. I’m honestly so stupid

I am thinking if I should confess to my two professors. Should I?

I cannot answer your question, but can ask that you consider the consequences of confessing.

My best guess is that you will be suspended or expelled or flunk out. These are punishments / results that will follow you for the rest of your life.

Probably the best thing you can do is learn from this experience, forgive yourself, and move forward, resolving never to cheat again.


I admire the urge to confess and think maybe you should consider this. I think, of course, that confessing is better than being found out. But I also think that confessing will be seen as evidence of remorse and may mitigate consequences, but cannot promise that.

If I were you, I would talk to a trusted adult and admit that you cheated on all three. I would also say that this was the first and only time (right?) and that all your other grades were honestly earned. Take your punishment and move forward. You will feel better.

If you feel such extreme shame and a desire to flee, try to find a counselor to talk to. Chances are you are dealing with pressure from outside yourself, a competitive environment, college pressure, others’ expectations, that made you cheat. Or you are dealing with COVID stress. (Or maybe online learning provided the opportunity).

In any case, you need to figure out WHY you cheated, which may help you forgive yourself. I am not suggesting excuses but I do think there are reasons that you cheated that you need to explore and then in the course of understanding yourself, you can go easier on yourself.


The fact that you feel guilty is a GOOD thing. You are not a bad person, you made a few bad choices.

It’s worth figuring out why that felt like the right course of action at that time. What were you afraid of? Failing, sure. But reduce it down to the most basic thing you were afraid of — afraid to fail because then you look bad, or you think your parents would be disappointed and not love you, or your friends would think less of you, or you wouldn’t get into the next program/internship/job, etc, and won’t be able to provide for yourself the way you hoped. Really reduce it down to that core fear — which often comes down to feeling a lack of security, a feeling of being unimportant, or not good enough, or unlovable unless we perform to others’ expectations. Once you suss that out, it’s A LOT easier to make choices that aren’t in service of fear.

I knew a girl in high school who was one of those kids who excelled at everything. She got caught for cheating on a Geometry test, and it was a huge deal. At the time I was very judgemental and angry that someone would cheat when I had to work so hard for my B average. Looking back, now I only feel compassion for her. She had a very overbearing father and anything less than perfect what not acceptable. Losing his approval was not an option for her, so she chose to cheat. Unfortunately, that made things much worse.

Living with integrity is a choice. It takes effort, and in a culture where getting away with things to get ahead is often rewarded, it can feel like a futile exercise. Treat yourself with compassion, and make a decision that you will do things with integrity from now on. If you are confronted with the other two exams, be honest. I wouldn’t come forward with that information on your own at this time, but do use this experience as a catalyst for changing how you want to live your life. Counseling would be a great start.


Have you cheated before and just never got caught? Is the shame linked to the getting caught or the actual cheating? If it’s the actual cheating then of course you should inform your other professors and find a way to move forward. When you cheat you are robbing yourself (and I would argue the others around you) of an education. I hope that you take this lesson and use it to better your education.

You will get through this. You will still finish your education, and have a good life. This is not the end of your world.

Okay, you got caught cheating. You know that you cheated in 3 classes, but you only got caught for one. And I suspect that this is not the first time that you’ve cheated.

There will be consequences for the one class where you got caught. Should you voluntarily offer to the school the information that you cheated on two other exams? You say that you were academically honest before this, so it’s not really a question of how far back should you go. No school would require a Maoist self-criticism session of you; in fact, I doubt that they would ask you anything about whether you have cheated in any other subject, nor would they subject your other exams to closer scrutiny.

I would probably say let the other two exams be water under the bridge, especially if you feel that you did learn enough of the material to have mastered it. Honestly, if you didn’t, it’s going to become obvious in the next higher level class, unless it was a basic gen ed class with no requirement to take a higher level class in that subject.

The reality is that if you were to confess to having cheated on the other exams, also, at a minimum I expect that you would receive an F in all three classes and be asked to take at least a semester’s leave of absence, possibly be asked to withdraw, possibly be expelled (doubtful). These are pretty tough consequences. Think carefully about whether you want to face them.

Also, know that lots of people see these postings. You might want to simply delete this thread.


Why would you not use a VPN…

From the little experience I have, some universities do sanctions only when cheating is admitted or a student does not contest the accusation. If you are a freshman and have not cheated before (on record), they may just require further education on academic honestly. The grades are at the instructors’ discretion at the schools I know about.

Were these online exams? Many online exams are open-book. Were these given on an honor system?

Don’t hate yourself, hate your actions.

Everyone makes mistakes in life. Learn to accept responsibility (no need to confess to additional transgressions) and move on. You should not live in the past if you want a future.


Talk to a therapist or someone to talk this out.
Then try to figure out why you did it…I know with Covid it has been tough. Everyone else did it is not an excuse…also many professors check Chegg and find out who is cheating.

take a look at this thread for hints on doing well: College is a step up from HS: 16 Tips on doing well in College

Your college will have many avenues of academic support that you can take advantage of.