- Find something to do on Friday nights, Saturday mornings, weekday evenings & Sunday afternoons.
Not ALL of those study times will come in the same week. But if you and your partner used to ‘always have special day something activities’ prior to grad school - think again. Study groups, tests, projects, trip to the library/campus/lab etc will always take precedence of waffles afternoons or Friday happy hour.
Write a blog, meet up with friends, go to the gym, take up a hobby, if you are now poor go to the library, learn to coupon, single parents your kid(s) etc.
- Make friends with your spouses grad school friends
Bake the class brownies, run carpool sometimes, and have them over for dinner. They’ll be your husband/wife’s friends, best to make them your friends too. If you’re lucky they’ll be about your age.
- Make friends with your spouses grad school friends’ spouses.
Only they know what you’re going through. Hopefully there will be some who you can really relate to whether your a newlywed, parent to 2, or ‘I just relocated to this whattheheck city’. You guys can roll your eyes together when the grad school gang starts talking shop while out to dinner on non study Friday night.
- Support them!
Grad school isn’t easy so be supportive! Increase your chore load around the house when they are busy cramming. Make dinner and enjoy eating together for an hour since it may be the best together time you get each night. Make sure they have laundered professional clothes to wear - since grad school won’t allow PJs and sweats in class like undergrad.
If you have not already be the new accountant of the family. While your partner in life slaves away over a textbook larger than a small child you may now be the one who is responsibly managing the fact that you may have just cut your income in half – or more. Hopefully you’ve prepared yourself for this new way of life with potentially less money.
- Count down the days!
Your spouse’s grad school isn’t forever. Day dream what you’ll do with their first big paycheck. I mean… get ready to celebrate their achievements together after graduation! For us that means Hawaii!
When Tony started grad school in 2011 we had just moved to Richmond from North Carolina. I (the spouse) had no job, and we knew nobody. We knew nothing about the city or anything to do. We crossed our fingers, looked at our savings, applied for loans and hoped for the best with 2.3 years to make it through. Now in 2013 we know lots of great people, actually manage free time together a lot with even time to socialize. I have a great job and are in the less than 9 months home stretch to graduation. Tony is getting super grades and we aren’t broke. We now actually even have some income – and can budget to gear back up for paying off the loans! ;)
Best of luck!