This week I have been focusing on trying to enjoy my last week of my summer break before uni starts again.
On Monday I’ll be starting my third year of university, and though by now I am well prepared for the heavy workload and late nights of studying, trying to balance university and my relationship always creates an extra challenge.
I find that it’s the small differences between a defence member/defence spouse relationship and a civilian relationship that can have the biggest impact on my studies.
Big things like my partner having to be away are easier to deal with, because I can just adjust my routine and fly solo for a few weeks, having loads of time for work, study, and myself.
It’s things like your partner spending 10 hours a day at an extremely demanding job, which means that the responsibility of doing most things around the house falls on you which take the biggest toll of your study time and your own energy levels.
Things like knowing that your partner and their job always, always have to come first is a really challenging concept to accept. Often that means that even if uni is really hard or you are overwhelmed by trying to balance all the different aspects of your life, you will still have to take on the role of a supporting partner, and push your own needs further down the to-do list.
For me, uni is essential maintaining keeping my own identity and focusing on my own goals and aspirations. The role of an army wife is not always synonymous with independence, but I think one of the assumptions about army wife life that is most important to debunk is that there is one cookie-cutter version of an army wife.
Studying something I love and that I am good at is how I uphold my sense of self and make space for my own life within my relationship.
I’m not just an army wife. I’m a student, a daughter, a tutor, a friend, a writer. And no matter how hard it gets, being an army wife and a student at the same time lets me experience the best of both worlds.