Thursday, October 27, 2011

medicated, educated, but still with OCD

The academic honesty policy was sent to all the students at my college. No big deal, right? I'm a diligent, honest student.

With OCD. So then the what if-ing starts. What if I accidentally plagiarise and am kicked out of college! (Worst case scenario following the "what-if.")

The associated ritual is very detailed and precise, but still won't guarantee that I haven't accidentally copied words that exist somewhere in the world. I know this might seem silly to some people, but it's OCD, so why be surprised at it's unlikeliness?

First, I can worry. As if worrying about it will change anything. Then, I ponder sentences and wonder, did I hear this before? Over and over. One time (different college) I used one of those internet plagiarism catchers. It passed over the sentences I thought sounded "suspicious" and questioned phrases I was pretty sure were mine. I ended up crying in the writing lab, with a poor English teacher who had explained the "simple" issue of plagiarism. She referred me to my own English teacher. When in doubt, refer to someone else. (Now, shall I erase the "when in doubt," since I know I've heard it before? No... English is made of phrases! Somebody might have written that about English before, too. Like me. I've said it before.)

Somehow, I made it through English 102, and all the other classes I've taken so far, because at some point, I have accepted the risk and turned in the papers (except for the two or three I was able to skip and still get a good grade). Yet still, today, the Academic Honesty policy sets off anxiety in my medicated and educated (regarding OCD) brain.


  1. I had anxiety about this in college and grad school as well.

  2. My big thing at university was making sure i didn't accidently cheat on an exam by being able to see someone else's paper. I would find a 'safe' place to sit at, usually in a corner where there was only 1 person beside me, so i could stare at the wall when i needed a break.

    And i used to use lots of references during papers as well as keep all my rough notes so i could 'prove' i didn't plagerize.

    OCD- what a pain!