Honestly, if I didn’t skirt around the truth when I was a teenager I never would’ve had any fun. Was I dishonest? On occasion, yes. And on one occasion I got out of a jam by being honest after I got myself into said jam by cheating. Let me explain.
For some reason I no longer recall, I missed a geometry exam and had to take a makeup test. So I did the reasonable thing and asked one of my classmates if I could see his answers and, you know, copy them because that seemed like a good idea at the time. I liked my teacher, but didn’t really care for the subject, so I thought I could take a short cut, get the test behind me without having to study very much and no one would be the wiser. Except for one thing: my teacher gave me a different test, so basically all my answers were going to be wrong no matter what. When I got the test back, I figured there was no harm in coming clean and confessing that I had cheated (as if he wouldn’t already know this). So I went up to his desk after class and told him that I’d “borrowed” the answers and I was really sorry and would he let me retake the test. Reader, he did.
And just to prove how much of an impression this whole experience had on me, it’s the one thing I remember about test taking through three years of high school. I think my teacher taught me a more valuable lesson than he knew, although he really was a pretty smart guy after all and did know exactly what he was doing. It didn’t hurt that he liked me anyway and my record up until then had been clean, if not stellar, in his class. If I ever needed a reminder that honesty was the best policy, I got it early enough to make sure I never tried anything like that again.