THINC LIKE AN ADULT: Students get a taste of reality during life simulation

Published 9:02 am Saturday, March 30, 2024

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Students at THINC recently got a preview into adulthood.

On Friday, THINC College and Career Academy hosted its inaugural “THINC Like an Adult” life simulation program.

Students of all grade levels at THINC participated in the life simulation intended to familiarize them with the responsibilities of adulthood.

The event serves as a reality simulation for students to prepare them for what they might encounter in life. Sessions were held throughout the day at the West Georgia Technical College Campus, where students went through stations to simulate various aspects of life from securing housing and transportation to dealing with surprise life events.

Just over 500 students participated in sessions throughout the day at the college.

THINC CEO Gerald Wyatt said when the students begin the simulation, they are provided their demographics such as if they are single or married, whether they have kids and what type of job they have. Their job and income are based on their career track at THINC, so a student with a higher projected income would have more money to work with.

The first station students go to provides their credit score, which for the simulation is based on their GPA. From there, they go to various stations where they pay for housing, transportation, food, insurance, household needs, daycare, student loans, and other things needed in life.

Many of the students end up at the “I’m broke” station when they run out of money. That station can provide them with a second job but there is also a cost. If they have kids, they have to go back and secure additional daycare.

Choices are made at each of the stations from whether the students want trendy new clothes or hand-me-downs to what type of car or housing they want.

Like real life, some of the aspects aren’t in their control. The students are assigned whether they are married and have kids though. They also have to go through a station with random life events such as a home appliance breaking down or having to pay for a doctor’s bill.

“It’s not easy,” Wyatt said.

“We even had a student ask is there an adoption table? We said, ‘No, why?’  They said it’s because I want to get rid of my kids? They’re too expensive,” Wyatt said.

The stations were run by business and community volunteers throughout the day. Wyatt said they had 46 volunteers for the morning sessions and 30 for the afternoon ones.

Wyatt said the event gives the students a taste of reality.

“They could have a great income, but their credit score is bad, so their housing choices are reduced,” Wyatt said. “We’re preparing them for adult life.”