The Last First Day of School

Today is a big one. Today is Ryan’s LAST first day of school!

While all the mom’s were posting pictures of their cute kids headed off to their first day of school today, I couldn’t resist posting Ryan headed off to his first day of his last year of law school. Hallelujah!

The last year. Still letting that sink in.

So begins another year of only seeing him on the weekends. Of being a constant cheerleader and a wizard-like budget maker.


When you’re in the depths of law school, with an overly anxious student that also works a full-time job and adds on Moot Court, and research and TA positions, and law journal, you think law school is going to last your entire life. It’s easy to get lost in the darkness and forget that this is going to just be a short period of your life. 

I’ve written about being married to a law student here and here. It’s tough. Many people are telling us these will probably be the toughest years of our lives. There’s still a lot of unchartered territory ahead. Two semesters, bar exam prep, taking the bar exam, and finding a job. 

As a couple, I think our biggest anxiety comes from the unknown. We are stuck in this “in between” patch of our lives. We have no clue where we will be living next year. Where he will get a job. How we will be paying off the excruciating amount of student loans. We’ve put things off. In our home, the phrase “After law school” is used as commonly as “coffee”. 

We made the most of this summer. Worries were but aside as much as possible and we unplugged and made each other a priority.

This past weekend you would think we’d do something fun and exciting to celebrate our last few days of freedom. No, we were out running errands, buying new shoes, hitting up Costco, and doing laundry, cooking meals for the week, and cleaning. Boring old married stuff. But I cherish doing those every day things with Ryan.

People warned me about marrying a law student. They said that the marriage would come second. That many marriages barely make it.

But I can’t imagine married life any other way. This is all I know. We’re a team. I’m happy to be married to a man who is passionate about his dream and is still supportive of mine. I don’t know how Ryan does it, how he slaves away at his job and also manages to put 100% into law school and still get amazing grades and accomplishment. Yes, I’m bragging. 

Sure I dream of the day when Ryan can come home at a reasonable hour, when we won’t be stressing about every bill, and when Ryan will be fulfilled in a career that he has worked hard for. But,  I like to think that these stressful days of pinching pennies, of saying yes to another dinner in while watching Netflix and no to a Saturday night out, of making the most of our time together will only strengthen our marriage. As cheesy as it sounds, love does win sometimes. 

I just need to remember that in the coming weeks when I’m feeling lonely and lost and like no amount of love can diminish Ryan’s stress and anxiety and like the days are longer than the weeks. We’ve got this! We’ve got this! We’ve got this! 

xoxo Katie

  • I totally understand this because my husband is in his fourth year of medical school, and I have heard those “marriages don’t make it statements so many times.” He didn’t get a summer this year so I sneak time together whenever I can get it, even if it means helping him with his research when he’s home! Isn’t it amazing to watch your significant other live out his passion, though? 🙂

    • kwalshmac

      Good job to you and your husband! You’ve made it to the fourth year, now on to residency, correct? We make it work and honestly I have no idea what it would be like to be in a relationship where we get to have dinner together or go to happy hour or have endless free time. So if that ever happens it will be a real treat. I’m so happy he’s following his heart and gets to be in a marriage and do the career of his choice.

  • Pat (Mom)

    You love each other and therefore, “You’ve got this!” Dad and I are always happy to help you through any nights when you want company, or dinner! Love you both.

    • kwalshmac

      Thanks mom. love you

  • You are so cute to take his picture, ha! Love it! My mom always said to me, “Short term pain for long term gain” and I would repeat that to myself when I felt I was in the “routine of the trench.” It sounds like you both have done such an awesome job at supporting each other and pulling each other through. I’m excited for you guys to prepare for this next adventure!! One more year! 🙂

    • kwalshmac

      Thanks Emily – no pain no gain is in my head all the time. This is such a short time of our life when we have our entire future ahead of us. We are lucky to be together. But boy, that sure doesn’t change the fact that these “trenches” do get depressing sometimes!

  • Oh, y’all so have this! You can do it! Not long to go now! 🙂

    • kwalshmac

      Thank you!!! A week has already gone by, only about 30 more to go!! ha!

  • My brother survived law school and I commend my sister-in-law a million times over for supporting him through it. You are so amazing for surviving it right alongside your husband!

    • kwalshmac

      Thank you, I don’t mean to make it about me in the slightest, but it’s hard to be the quiet supporter sometimes. I just want him to be successful, career wise and self success wise.

  • You’ve got this! Congratulations to you both on his last first day of school! Things will get easier, and I hope ya’ll are able to continue focusing on the good things and not worrying TOO too much for this last little time …

    • kwalshmac

      Thanks Allie! We’ll try to put a stop on the worrying 🙂

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