May 25, 2021

Coming in second is OK

Meghan Rominger

Monday, during our first night of bootcamp, we covered a baseball game on deadline. It was stressful, with high pressure and high expectations, and I struggled. But as much as the classes earlier in the day and the evening game taught me about journalism and writing, they also reminded me of one of the most important lessons I’ve learned in life: Coming in second is ok.

As someone who’s struggled with depression for over a decade, I’m used to coming in second (or third, or maybe even fourth). I’m the student who’s often one step behind, the friend who’s an  hour later, and the sister who’s missed four life updates.

But I think being in second place is okay, and it’s important for us as journalists to recognize that, accept it and grow from it.

Carmelita Jeter has earned six Olympic gold medals in her career--but she also has three silver medals and four bronze. Lebron James has played in 10 NBA finals, but he’s come up short in six out of those. And their accomplishments were not diminished because they’ve finished second a few times, and neither are ours as journalists and students. We accept the result and try harder next time.  

On the first day of SJI bootcamp, I definitely finished in second place (or maybe 17th). But I’m proud that as classmates we helped each other through the day and lifted each other up.

I’ll try for first place tomorrow but second is still okay.

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