In some scenarios, your efforts will be rewarded. In others, there will be no reward and no "payback" to you. Be aware that this is a possible outcome. As your parents told you, it builds character. And it will certainly be a learning experience.
As in almost every experience, the main lesson learned is to communicate. You might also learn about "self-rewards." If you really feel gratified by the work itself, and your productivity is reward enough in itself, that will compensate for potential disappointment or disillusionment.
But it will not compensate for exhaustion. So keep some kind of internal barometer to detect pressure changes in your mental and physical health. When the reading on the dial warns of bad weather, seek shelter to rest and recover. If you push too hard, you will make yourself worthless to yourself AND to your company. You aren't doing your company any favors by ruining your own mental and physical health. They cannot be expected to know the full extent of the energy you have put in. So don't expect them to. No matter how dedicated you are, the bottom line is this: take care of yourself.