Talkin’ with Thonny – Not a copycat

Dear Thonny,

I have a serious problem with one of my friends. They seem to only call me when they need to copy my school work. Unless they need answers to homework, classwork, or even a test, they never seem to think about me. I don’t know what to do. I am getting a bit annoyed with them, but I don’t want to be mean. I also like to believe I am a really good student and it makes me feel bad when I let people copy me because it feels dishonest. How do I deal with my friend?

Not a copycat

Dear Not a copycat,

I’m sorry you’re going through this. It’s hurtful knowing that one of your friends is using you and that they don’t actually want to be a real friend, but I have an easy solution for you.

Grow a backbone and speak your mind. Don’t let your friend steal your hard work and pass it off as their own. If you really want to be a good student, then stop them from continuing this way. It will only hurt them in the long run.
Don’t think of yourself as being mean. Remember they are responsible for their own learning and grades, not you.

Education is so much more than memorizing and solving a problem on a piece of paper. I know it may not seem like it, but everything we learn in school is necessary for life. If your friend doesn’t learn and pay attention now, they’re going to have to later on in life if they want to make a living.

By letting them copy you, you are letting them piggyback off your hard work. Maybe instead of giving them answers, you could help them understand the material. Maybe even tell them how copying just lowers their chances for success. If they are really your friends, they will understand that you are just trying to help them.

The cycle of copying that you are helping them create won’t end now. It will probably continue on when they go off to college. It’s probably going to become a character trait of theirs.

Furthermore, by continuing to let your friends copy, you are putting yourself at risk. Once you get caught and lose your teachers’ trust, it will be hard to restore it.

Also, it’s okay to put yourself first. It’s also unfair for you to be constantly helping this person when they’re not offering you anything in return.

Friendship isn’t transactional, but it’s a red flag when you’re constantly doing things for that person and they’re not there for you when you need them to be.

Stop your friend from copying you and push them to achieve something by putting a little effort in. I assure you they will thank you for helping them feel more accomplished.