I'm a high school student also enrolled in a computer science class at a local college, and earlier this week I noticed that my grade for the class had dropped. I checked the online gradebook after noticing this, and there was a 0 for a programming assignment I had submitted. I sent my professor several emails (instead of asking him in person because the college is currently on break) asking why there was a 0, and he responded after a few days by telling me to wait for the disciplinary committee to contact me regarding the assignment.
And only after sending my email did I remember that I had taken bits of my program from an online one written for a problem very similar to mine--and it even used techniques we never learned in class. It was months ago, when I was really overloaded with work, and I thought I was safe because I paid to access the code online. And a lot of my friends who were full-time undergraduates seemed to be overtly cheating pretty often.
And only after he responded did the full gravity of the situation sink in on me: I had plagiarized, and there was no excuse. I had used someone else's work without much remorse while I was doing it, lacking moral responsibility just like a sociopath might. I did something might ruin my life.
At this point, I'm panicking and desperately need advice. I feel terrible, and I'm finding it hard to concentrate on my work for high school or even sleep. I had an amazing opportunity to pursue something I really loved at a higher level than most people my age, and I completely blew it. And what's more, I might not have the chance to do it again now.
I was recently admitted to my dream college Early Action, and it was the only college I applied to. But now I'm afraid that I'll get rescinded because I'll probably be dismissed from the college I'm currently enrolled in, and even if the disciplinary committee doesn't let my dream college know directly, it probably has a way to find out.
And even if I don't get rescinded, I'm worried that I'll need to send this information to all of the grad schools I apply to, or if not, they'll just have it anyway.
I know there's not much I can do until I hear back from the committee, but what should I do right now and after I hear back? If I'm brought before the committee for a hearing, what should I do? What are the chances I'll be rescinded? Will this prevent me from getting into a good grad school?