Rain or shine, it's still a beautiful campus. Even when things are crazy busy in my office, this is the time of year where I want to sneak out and walk across campus. The trees with their brilliant red and gold never disappoint.
Working in a support role on a college campus is just one of those jobs that no one truly knows what you do. (I provide academic support for students and some times professors, so that all students can be successful while they are here. That comes in a variety of ways and that is a post for another day.) I love everything about what I do but the downside is there is never enough time and never enough of me to go around. And why do I bring that up? Because I am at a point in the semester where I am experiencing a severe case of compassion fatigue. It happens every year but it seems like it comes faster and faster with each new semester. Why is that? Are more students asking for help than before? Am I getting better at my job so more people seek me out? A little of both perhaps. A few years ago, I coined the phrase "Midterm Meltdowns," because I had so many students who ended up crying in my office that particular week. It then took a couple of years before I realized that it happened again and again right about the same time of year, every year. I really think I should write a professional article about what college students should do if they are experiencing a case of severe mental anguish at this point in the semester...
The stress my students feel directly relates to my own exhausted-ness. So I push on through my own fatigue by taking off a day off here and there, so I can recharge my own batteries. Sometimes it helps, sometimes it's not enough.
Regardless, I can look out my window and see the gorgeous fall leaves and that helps too.