Every action we take has a consequence.
Some of these repercussions are good – making someone smile or buying a new house.
The problem is that sometimes the consequences of our actions are less forgiving and we blame someone else for the situation we put ourselves in.
That was the issue facing Redditor and Original Poster (OP) jhhn– when she came to the “Am I the A**hole” (AITA) subReddit for judgment.
“AITA for snitching and causing my friend to lose her scholarship/dream college acceptance?”
OP began with the background.
“I (19F) am a sophomore in college and have a friend, Tia (18F), who is in high school and applying for colleges and scholarships.”
“I helped her throughout the college process, and she ended up getting in early action to her top college, and she got a full scholarship.”
“I was happy for her until recently.”
Everything was fine, until…
“I was talking to a mutual friend of ours, and she started gushing about how Tia’s essay was so heartfelt and beautiful.”
“I asked to see it because I thought she had just forgotten to show me (she showed me many of her essay drafts).”
“But as I was reading it, I was completely taken aback.”
“The essay was one of MY college essay drafts which I’d shown to Tia for reference on writing TECHNIQUES ONLY. I made this clear.”
“I was livid.”
“The essay was really personal, and she barely even tweaked it up. It was almost entirely copied and pasted.”
“I trusted her with it, and this is what she did.”
“In a fit of rage, I gathered all the evidence of me helping her with the college process, including evidence of me sending the specific essay to her, and I showed it to the school.”
“She not only lost her scholarship, but she also lost her seat in the school.”
“Now, people are calling me dramatic and shaming me for robbing her of her education.”
“She’s the only person in her family to get into college and receive an academic and athletic scholarship, so everyone was rooting for her, including me at one time.”
“And while I didn’t expect the outcome to be so severe, it was.”
“Right now, I feel bad.”
“I feel terrible.”
“I feel like she took advantage of me, but I didn’t want to be the cause of something so horrible. I did myself a justice but at the cost of someone’s dreams.”
“Now I’m wondering if what I did was justified or not.”
OP was left to wonder,
Having explained the situation, OP turned to Reddit for judgment.
Redditors weighed in by declaring:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- NAH – No A**holes Here
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
Redditors decided: NTA
Some shared an interesting perspective.
“She wasn’t actually accepted.”
“The university thought they were accepting a different person.” ~ lark-sp
Others pointed out that actions have consequences.
“She barely even tweaked it up and plagiarized your personal story for her gain.”
“She also knew what she was doing was wrong because she hid her actions from you.”
“You did not make her lose her scholarship or her place, she did.”
“I neglected that she was also boastful about it. Sharing your essay seems, ah, weird.” ~ Cezzium
“She stole, she plagiarized, and she took the spot of someone actually deserving.”
“This is all on her; you did nothing wrong.”
“Anyone who criticizes you should have to explain their reasoning to the person who didn’t get in because of her deceit.” ~ bureaucratic_drift
“And here’s the thing, OP didn’t ruin her friend’s dream, her friend did that herself by plagiarizing.”
“Essays are obviously important, but I really doubt the plagiarized essay would’ve been the difference between a rejection and a full-ride scholarship.”
“Her friend was perfectly capable of getting in, but decided to cheat instead, and now she’s facing those consequences” ~ lift_1337
Commenters saw this as a deeper issue.
“When you apply to a college, you must attest that none of your college essays are plagiarized!”
“It’s a matter of integrity!”
“If she were so smart, she should have and could have gained admission on her own, but she CHOSE to basically copy your essay as her own!”
“This is a lesson learned for her, and she’s learning that actions have consequences!”
“That’s adulthood! Every action has a consequence, and this was a big one, but hopefully it will be a wake-up call for her!”
“You shouldn’t feel bad about being honest. That was your hard work, and you possessed the integrity to be honest when she did not. Kudos to you!” ~ BluEydRedhead
“That is what I was thinking.”
“It’s plagiarism. Lots of places (especially colleges) ban it because… well, it’s theft, plain and simple.”
“If she plagiarized this essay, who is to say she won’t plagiarize another one.”
“Also, if it comes out it’s plagiarized, and she twists the story that YOU copied it or that you told her to do it, YOU might get in trouble.” ~ Grouchy_Tune825
“It happens ridiculously often, in my experience as a high school English teacher.”
“And it’s not at all uncommon for the person who the student stole it from to have no idea.”
“Friends who share passwords, have a friend who asks to see their essay for ‘inspiration’, etc.” ~ whatev88
Also, of course, personal stories.
“NTA I had a similar thing happen but worse.”
“I had a biology paper due, and I shared an almost final draft with a ‘friend’ to give them guidance like an idiot.”
“They changed nothing and submitted it with their name on it.”
“I almost got kicked out of uni and failed the course.”
“I had to beg my professor that I didn’t share with the intention of them just plagiarizing my paper.”
“I got a zero and barely passed the course with a 50-something mark.”
“But I didn’t get kicked out of university thankfully.”
“Hard lesson learned for my stupidity thinking I was just helping out a ‘friend’. If this person copies now think how they’ll be in college? It’s harsher punishment.” ~ DonVinku
“If she is plagiarizing just to get in, she is definitely not going to survive her first semester in college. Most colleges have a no-nonsense policy with stealing others’ works.”
“I have seen a lot of my peers who just forgotten to cite their source properly for their quotes, and get in trouble with the school.”
“So yeah, NTA” ~ ALonePeep
“Oooh, I had a teacher like that. I was hyperlexic (very advanced language skills) as a kid, and had skipped a year, so I was younger AND smarter than all my peers.”
“My 7th-grade language arts teacher continually tried to catch me ‘faking’ being smart, even tried to quiz me on the WAY not age appropriate 1000+ page novels I’d read.”
“Then one day she decided to accuse me of having a parent write an essay for me. My mom had none of that and told her if she didn’t think I wrote it, to make me write a new one in the classroom.”
“It was even better than the first.”
“Also I’m a writer and editor now. Partly out of spite.” ~ Pastel-Morticia13
OP did return with some final thoughts.
“First of all, thank you to everyone who offered kind words of reassurance and support.”
“I obviously cannot reply to everyone, but I am going through all of these comments! You guys helped me realize that I wasn’t in the wrong. ❤️”
“All the nasty YTA comments, you guys also helped me realize I wasn’t wrong🏼.”
“Someone said that they hope all the Tia apologists are working on my doctors who cheated throughout medical school and have their houses worked on by cheating electricians 😂.”
“Secondly, I didn’t expect this post to blow up so much lol.”
“I went to bed soon after posting it and thought that I’d wake up to 50-60 replies at most.”
“Somehow, I’m on the front page too! Crazy stuff.”
Though, not everyone was on OP’s side.
“I thought you were in the right until I understood a bit more the nature of the essay.”
“As far as I can tell it’s more of a cover letter/ ‘personal statement’ (that’s what we have in the UK for uni) rather than an academic piece of work directly related to her studies.”
“If that’s the case, no one will see or care about that other than some random administration officer.”
“It’s just hoops you have to jump through for some reason. Like you have to prove to the institution that you really want an education, which is slightly bullsh*t IMO.”
“People work really hard for years of school, and then it can all be thrown away based on one piece of writing where you have to sell how much it really means to you like an x-factor contestant.”
“Seems pretty harsh to reinforce that on your friend.”
“So based on that you’re sort of the ‘assh*le’, not that I’d put it that harshly.”
“Honestly even if I found out a random person stole my personal statement I probably wouldn’t report it.”
“But especially if it was a friend I’d talk to them first at the very least.”
“Like yeah I’d be unhappy that they stole my work, mainly because it could potentially put me at risk, but the chance anyone looks at that writing again is extremely low.”
“And good friends should be able to forgive each other sometimes IMO.” ~ Spicy_Toeboots
Whether we’re talking about buying a new car or destroying a friendship, we’re talking about consequences.
There’s no avoiding it, there’s no reasoning with it.
Consequences come no matter what you do, and while you can hide from them for a while, there’s no escaping them forever.