Consequences after being caught cheating
I am not proud of what I have done but I think the US academic pushed me to focus too much on academics rather than the actual content.
Background: I am an international student and my undergrad was business, I had the chance to be accepted in an intensive computer science grad program for non-cs majors. However, I need to have at least a 3.00 GPA for each of classes if I want to stay in the program. I am currently taking 2 classes (discrete structures) and another programming class.
I need a minimum of 3.00 GPA for each class I am taking. I only have 2 classes right now but I am also working part-time, most of my classmates have a CS background but even for them, it's quite challenging.
I am doing pretty well in the discrete class but I struggle in the programming class. I have 1 project every week for the programming class since last week everything was fine. My last homework was super hard and even after going to TA office hours, I couldn't do it. I know this is totally stupid but I really don't want to retake the class next semester so I found someone on freelancer.com to do my homework.
Everything worked perfectly and I decided to submit it. I got an email from my professor this morning and she asked me to come to her office, I did not know why but I was sure she could not figure out I cheated. It turns out that the freelancer I hired just copied and paste the code from Github.
The meeting just lasted for a few seconds. She just said something like "you cheated, you copied your code from Git Hub and you'll get a 0 for that exam. You will also get an email from the academic integrity to tell you what's next for you."
She did not want to hear from me so I could not tell her that it was going to fast for me. I own my mistake, I take a risk by hiring someone else and what goes around comes around, that 0 may be hard to overcome but academic integrity is most serious. I am probably going to be convened by the academic integrity to hear from me.
I know I may be kicked out of the school for that, but how can I defend myself?