Freshmen at Meridian High School learned what life is really like after high school with a visit to Realville.
The program sponsored by Junior Auxiliary takes this life lesson to every freshman in Lauderdale County, to teach the importance of having a budget and an education.
"In Realville, there are no grandmothers, no grandfathers, no uncles, no one else. You must do it yourself," said La Fondra Kenney, co-chair of Junior Auxiliary.
Ninth grade students are each given a scenario: full-time job, family status, such as spouses and children, and then the students must spend their 'salaries' on ordinary bills each month.
Luxuries like cell phones and cars can be purchased, but only if students can afford them.
This all goes to teach students what their parents go through each and every month.
"Well, it allows them to see what their parents deal with every day," said Kenney. "And it allows them to say O.K., my god, my parents, this is not just free. I've got to work for this. I've got to pay for this. I've got to pay for every single item I have."
The students going through Realville get the chance to see what it's like in real life outside of high school, having to pay bills each and every month. They're finding out just how far money actually goes.
"Seeing this, money's going by fast," said freshman Johnny Knox. "I have one daughter. I'm an advertising specialist. With car insurance and medical insurance, money's just going by, like every week."
"I'm at $37 now," said 9th grader Takaliyha Landrum, who still had other needs to be met.
For many students, this opened their eyes to the value of education that opens the door to career and job opportunities.