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     Four years ago, senior Smith Vick was a freshman attending frequent Zoom meetings to class due to COVID. Now, he’s a senior on the golf team, and he co-edits the sports section of the school paper, Rampant Lines.

     Journalism, in particular, has helped Vick grow and improve since his freshman year. From collaborating with peers to write a collective junior journalism article to being in charge of his own page, Vick has become a completely different person with this class. 

     “When I came in as a freshman, I was not very good, [and] was not very serious, and I didn’t really know how I’d fit in with the class because my writing was not good at all,” Vick said. 


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     Vick took the class as a freshman because his older brother told him to, and he wasn’t sure what he was getting himself into at the time. 

     “He just suggested it to me, and I was like, ‘Well, I don’t really know what classes to take, so I might as well just try it out,’” Vick said. “But I decided to come back, and I’ve been here ever since.” 

     Taking journalism has helped Vick grow in a number of ways and has done a lot more than just improve his writing skills. 

     “I feel like I’ve made good connections with friends in this class, and I’ve gotten a lot closer with the people and teachers in the school as I’ve had to interview people, and I’ve definitely learned a lot,” Vick said. 

     The connections Vick has made through journalism have helped him learn many useful writing tips, helping him create some great articles and his favorite memories along the way. 

     “Last year, me and Emmy Ingalls wrote an article about Carolina and Duke, but she’s a Duke fan, so she wrote it from her perspective, and I’m a Carolina fan, so I wrote from mine, and then we wrote in one article together, and that was fun,” Vick said. 

     Not only has Vick noticed changes in himself over the years, but his teachers and peers have noticed them too. 

     “Smith has completely transformed from the little freshman fighting back and forth with his older brother to a confident leader in journalism,” said co-editor-in-chief Anna McLean Evans.

     The two have been family friends for a while, but they have really become close friends through journalism, as they have been working together on the paper since their freshman year. Evans has noticed a lot of positive change in Vick, and she knows he will excel in the coming years. 

     “His ability to remain level-headed and keep the room in good spirits through any situation has greatly improved the Rampant Lines community,” Evans said. “I am confident that he will use these leadership and collaboration skills for something great in the future.”

     Over time, journalism has become a key part of Vick’s life. He is even planning on studying journalism at the University of North Carolina Wilmington starting in the fall. 

     The students on the Rampant Lines team have helped fuel Vick’s passion for writing and journalism, but so has the class’s teacher, Ashley Hutchinson. 

     “I think throughout my four years, I’ve been taught a lot by my editors, as well as Hutch, [and] that’s really helped me become a better writer,” Vick said. “She’s helped me grow as a person and as a student.”

     From his own experiences, Vick advises students to take journalism during their time at Rose. 

     “It’s taught me to be more responsible and has definitely made me improve as a writer,” Vick said. 

     As he moves on to college and beyond, Vick will continue to reflect on the ways Rampant Lines has shaped him to be the person he is now. 

     “[Leaving journalism] is sad; it’s kind of bittersweet, but I’m very thankful that I decided to take this class, and it’ll help me when I get to college,” Vick said. 

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