Making it to the Ivy League: Meghana Anam


Ananya Sirigineedi

Many students around the world work tirelessly to get into an Ivy League school throughout their high school careers, hoping they are one of the estimated 9% of applicants around the world who get in.

One of those 9% selected this year was Independence senior Meghana Anam.

For Anam, the desire to go to University of Pennsylvania began around the middle of her junior year. By this time, she had already taken advanced placement (AP)  classes and participated in multiple extracurricular activities, such as being one of the vice presidents of Independence DECA, and participating in clubs such as Model United Nations (MUN), Business Professionals of America (BPA), Independence choir, and more.

Anam at BPA state 2022

“For me, college wasn’t really a big importance, or I didn’t really have the motivation or intentions to go to an Ivy League freshman year,” Anam said.  “I was mostly figuring out what I wanted to do, but as I progressed through high school, I realized that UPenn was my dream school, so a lot of my motivation and what I wanted to do changed [when I realized] that.” 

Amid all this hard work, there also inevitably came a period of struggles.

“The middle of my junior year, around January and February, that was when the culmination of the hardest parts of my AP classes, starting to study for AP exams [began],” Anam said. “ That the peak of my stress during high school. That was when I started questioning, was my determination to get into this one school worth the effort? But then I realized the reason I was doing a lot of [this] wasn’t necessarily to get into a single school. It was mostly because I liked doing what I was doing, and I liked learning.”

The stress and struggles did not stop her from continuing to pursue her goals; she finally applied to the University of Pennsylvania her senior year.

“I was waiting [for a month and a half]. It was my dream school for so long. My motivation for high school and the majority of 2021 was just getting into UPenn and going [to school] there, so waiting for that decision was very nerve wracking.”

She describes what waiting for her results was like, and the anticipation that came with it.

“It was the second to last day of first semester, [and] I went with my friend to get some boba because I was too nervous, so I wanted to fill up my time because I [couldn’t] sit still and wait.” Anam said. “I was thinking, ‘what if I don’t get in? What would happen?’ so I was trying to distract myself.”

That same day, after going home from boba and trying to pass time until decisions came out, she finally opened the email that would change her life forever.


She got into the University of Pennsylvania.

After receiving the news, and “jumping for joy”, Anam ran down the stairs to share the news to her parents. 

When asked about his daughter’s accomplishment, Anam’s father Srini describes himself as “brimming with pride.”

“Right from the beginning, her dream school was UPenn,” Srini Anam said. “She did it without any help from me, whether it was studying, activities, or researching the school. All she asked for was to review the essay. More than anything, I am really proud that she did everything herself.”

Her father continued to describe her as independent, dedicated, and someone who goes for what she wants. 

As she heads off to the stages of her life, her father shares some of his best advice for his daughter, Meghana.

“Be yourself.” Srini Anam said. “Like I always say to her, enjoy the times, they will never come back. Make friends and have fun. I know she will take care of the study part herself.”