I once heard an analogy in one of my higher ed master's classes that fits me perfectly today.
"Working in higher ed is like being a grape. Each day, you arrive at work plump and full of juice. As the day goes on, you are slowly drained more and more and more, as you give every ounce of your energy to the students you are serving. By the time you travel home each evening, you are no longer a grape, but a raisin. And that's exactly how it should be. Every day, you should go to work prepared to give as much as you can to the students you are serving."
Right now, I'm such a raisin. I feel like I've been drained every single day. People can be so bizarre sometimes (see previous post Conversations of the Morning). Dealing with people who say things like, "I want to major in... uh... a doctor" or "I don't have internet access, how can I do my online classes?" or "I'm paying out of pocket, and I only have money for tuition, not for the books so I'm going to try these classes without the book" can wear a person down.
But, then there are the students that are serious about school. Ones who are so grateful for your help. Students that you just know are going to make it through school and change their lives in the process. I love serving these students and feeling like I've made a tiny difference in their lives.
Even if I end up as a raisin.