INDIAN LAND — This is the first installment of a series documenting the lives of local high school seniors as they prepare for the next phase of their lives. Our intent is to profile as diverse a group of graduating seniors as possible. We are asking the subjects of each story to submit their own self-portrait photo.
This past August, Rush Driggers, an 18-year-old student at Indian Land High School, moved from Summerville to Indian Land to complete his final semester.
He was supposed to have graduated last June.
“I wasn’t doing any of my homework last year. I was being lazy and I kind of just stopped going to school,” explained Driggers. “I was failing my American government class, and it didn’t matter if I made a 100 on the exam; I still wouldn’t pass. I’m retaking that this semester.”
Driggers’ school work began suffering when he began using acid, a powerful hallucinogenic drug, with his housemate, the guitar player from his former band.
“I was living with my guitar player, and it was fine while I was in school. Then I’d come home, and a bunch of people would come over, and then I’d wake up and there were more people,” said Driggers. “They always said to try this and that, and one day someone had acid and I said, ‘Sure, I’ll do it.’ Then I did it a couple more times, and I finally realized, wow, I have to stop.”
Driggers lives with his mother and younger brother.
“I did it [acid] all summer, and I just decided to move up here towards the end of summer because I can’t do that anymore. My parents were mad about school, but they let me come up here,” Driggers said.
After graduating in January, he hopes to pursue his two passions – music and culinary arts.
“I’ll either continue trying to be a musician, or I want to go to Johnson and Wales and hopefully be a chef; that would be cool. I want to do kind of exotic stuff. I’ll cook anything,” Driggers said.
Though he is in the process of applying to the Johnson and Wales University College of Culinary Arts, Driggers’ musical endeavors oblige much of his free time.
“Well, I play drums, and I’m currently with a band. We play metal, but I like to play folk guitar,” said Driggers. “I’ll play all kinds of music on the guitar.”
His influences include metal bands Lamb of God, Metallica, and Avenged Sevenfold, and folk artists Young the Giant and Mumford and Sons.
Since Driggers turned 18 this year, he was able to participate in November’s Presidential election.
“I’m so excited to vote,” he said in late October, just days before the election. “I’ve been watching all the debates, and I’m voting for President Obama. I’m not an independently wealthy person and I don’t have health insurance right now, so I think his plans would benefit me. I really like ‘Obama Care’.”
Driggers also espoused on the relationships he has made here.
“My best friend in Indian Land is David,” said Driggers. “He lives three houses down from me, and we’re exactly alike.”
Though he cited several close friends, Driggers was recently a victim of cyber bullying and online rumors, which he believes were posted by students at his school. “There was a post that involved me. It was something false and it made me really angry,” he explained. “I think people who start stuff like that should just go lie down in a railroad station somewhere.”
Now a self-proclaimed expert on the adolescent experience, Driggers admits that high school was not what he expected it to be four years ago.
“High school was going to be cool, but now I just have to sit and class and do nothing, and everyone is needy,” said Driggers.
Driggers does remain optimistic for the future, however. He plans to achieve all his goals. Such as:
“It will be a Saturday, and I’ll wake up and practice with my band for a little bit, then we’ll headline a show and celebrate until 4 a.m.,’’ he mused. “That will be my perfect day.”