Let’s face it—life is busy. But if you’re married, life is even busier. Now add business school to the mix and BOOM! Things could get out of control quickly if you don’t have a plan.
Going back to get your MBA is hectic enough when all you have to worry about is yourself. When you’re married, however, there are now two people to consider in most everything you do. First, there’s the scheduling and lifestyle accommodations. Does your spouse have a career? Will he continue to work and be able to relocate with you to school? Will she remain back home and send you off to school separately?
Having a second income to support the MBA student is one of the biggest advantages to being married while going to b-school.
If your spouse is willing to keep working and provide living expenses while you do school full time, you have much less to worry about and will do much less damage to your savings account. Often, spouses can even find work at the school itself during the two years you are an MBA candidate.
But working and income is only half the equation. In addition to school responsibilities, married students must also devote time to keeping the marriage healthy.
Make sure you don’t get so sucked into your classes and clubs that you forget to schedule time with your spouse on a weekly basis. All the late night study sessions and groupwork can leave a spouse feeling neglected, so go in with the mindset to prioritize your spouse like you would a class or club. Some schools will even allow spouses to join MBA clubs and even audit classes.
There are many schools who really understand what it means to go back as a married student and have special programs for partners which can make the time go much more smoothly. Special events, spouse support clubs and even activities for kids are often part of the offering. Kids of course add a whole other dimension to the craziness, but can also afford some deep bonding with other families in your cohort or class which can last a lifetime.
Being married can sometimes help business school actually seem less hectic, depending on the kind of socializing you typically do as a couple.
For example, going home instead of going out to party will work in your favor academically, even if part of that time at home is spent on relationship maintenance. Sure, some married couples go out and party too, but it’s always a good excuse to bow out when you’re married, and having a less aggressive social life is more acceptable when you have a spouse in tow---at least you won’t be chastised for it like you might if you’re single and constantly turning down the chance to paint the town.