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Alumni Spotlight | 5 Minutes

An Unfiltered View: Ansley Schreiber ‘22 VSA Alumni

Molly Nickles Written by Molly Nickles
An Unfiltered View: Ansley Schreiber ‘22 VSA Alumni

We reached out to alumni to ask for an unfiltered review of their time at Veritas Scholars Academy and to provide their advice to new VSA students.

Here’s Ansley Schreiber, ‘22 VSA Alumni’s response:

My experience with Veritas was pretty spectacular, and I am extremely grateful for it. Veritas prepared me exceedingly well for college. To be honest, I feel overprepared sometimes because the work I am doing so far in college is nothing compared to the work I did at VSA. Veritas has high expectations and standards for its students. However, I think those expectations have set me up for success in college.

My time at Veritas was a mixed bag! I was going through a lot of life changes and personal hardships during my high school years. So being in Veritas was both a huge blessing and a burden for me (because being a VSA student is hard sometimes!). For the most part, it was amazing. Having teachers who cared about my education and me as a person was by far my favorite thing about my time at Veritas. I found that the teachers at VSA are extremely special and one of a kind. So far in my first weeks of college, I have yet to find a more caring group of people, both student-wise and teacher-wise, than the people at Veritas.

My first weeks of college have been going pretty well. I honestly have so much free time because I learned how to manage my school life and personal life and still do well in both areas while at Veritas. Throughout my high school years, I heard teachers at VSA say we will be well prepared for college because of VSA, and I didn’t really believe it, but it is so true!

I have plenty of advice I would give current students, but if I could only say one thing it would be this: you don’t have to be the “perfect” all A’s student to do well. I wish I could go back and tell myself when I was starting Veritas that there is not one “best way” to do well at Veritas. I had a different experience than most students do. I joined the Diploma program in the second semester of my 10th-grade year and had the option to either take summer school every summer until I graduate (both sections of summer courses) or add another year to my high school career. And I choose summer courses to graduate “on time.” Plus, during all of that, my family moved twice. So I had a lot on my plate. I put a lot of pressure on myself to be the perfect student who made all A’s on literally everything. I wanted to do “well”, and there is nothing wrong with that, I was just putting an unhealthy amount of pressure on myself to be the best and do the best. I think a lot of students tend to put pressure on themselves, or they have others pressuring them to make all A’s because that’s what a good student does. The best way, in some people's opinion, is to be a top-level student who engages in everything they can to build an amazing transcript. And while those things are important, it can be extremely harmful if it is seen as the only way to do well or do your best.

I exhausted myself trying to be the best in my school, so much so that I would absolutely fall apart if I did not know how to do a problem on a quiz or an exam or if I got a grade below 90. And I just would tell students that your best way of succeeding or doing well at VSA is not something anyone can tell you how to do. Sure there are tips and tricks to doing well academically, like studying the material, don’t cram, don’t wait until 11:30 P.M. to start an assignment that is due that night, participating in class, reading the Omnibus books, asking for help, talk to your teachers, etc. But in the end, no one really can tell you, “This is how you succeed. This is how you do well,” because, as we Omnibus students know, success is a very hard term to define :).

Succeeding or doing well for one person might be making C’s because they have a sibling with cancer who they want to be present. Success for another person might be all A’s and going to Harvard afterward to discover some amazing thing that earns them a spot in a science textbook. Each person is called to fulfill a different purpose, and thus their success will not match a certain track.

I despise the notion that doing well at Veritas, or anywhere really, is all A’s, perfect GPA, and a great distinctions box on your transcript. While that is exactly what I personally have, I think that mindset is really harmful– it was to me as I wrapped my identity up in my ability to perform perfectly on assignments. Grades are not a reflection of a person or a reflection on their “success.” God doesn’t call us to make all A’s in order to do well. He calls us to glorify Him and obey Him. That can be done with B’s and C’s on your transcript.

To summarize all that, I would say the best way to do well at Veritas is to know that God called each and every one of us to different things in our lives and our academic career is just one of the things He has called students to. DO try your best in school, DO try to learn and build a good transcript, but know that if you make a “bad grade” or you skip class because you just found out you are moving AGAIN that the world won’t end, and you won’t fail. Don’t be lazy and be like, “This doesn’t matter. In the long run I won’t do it”. Put effort in and do your personal best. But do not fall into the trap of placing your success in how you perform academically.

~Ansley Schreiber