I feel ripped off.
I thought by this point in my education, I would know a lot more. I still look at papers, and feel like they're in a foreign language. I still look at the math, and feel like you'd have to be much smarter than me to understand it. (Including math that I've written.)
I do not feel like an expert. And this is bad, 'cause they're letting me help teach classes...
You know how they promise you, your whole life, "You'll understand when you're older"? They say, "Well, we can't explain this to you yet. You don't have enough math. You have to learn all this other stuff first."
But now I've done all that, I've sat through all their classes, almost. They haven't lived up to their side of the bargain. There's still so much I don't understand. And now I begin to suspect that they don't really understand either.
There are still lots of people above me, but they are not so far above me now. I'm getting to the point where it's not so much about people who know more than you, as people who know about different things than you, where we start to specialize.
So now, when I listen to physicists talk, I'm much less likely to believe they really know what they're talking about. I don't, and I've gotten this far, so why should I believe they do? And I feel the same way about people in other fields now, too. A doctorate is so much less impressive now that I think I actually might get one. Any club that would have me as a member, etc...
So running out of classes has made me feel a little cynical. Also smug, though. And old. (But I like feeling old.) Mainly, though, I'm just outraged about all the questions I now see I'm never going to get answers to. After so much work, and such a long time... Man! That sucks!