For those who have a BA/BS or higher, do you ever feel like you just don't deserve the degrees you've worked for? Like you really aren't that smart, it was sheer dumb luck that brought you so far.
Asking for a friend
I worked my ass off to get my B.A. in Organizational Psychology, only to find myself working in retail afterward, so I found a specialty I enjoyed in the military (completely unrelated to the degree). That was interesting enough to keep me engaged for 20 years. I went back to get a B.S. in IT and found the process to be so much more dumbed down - I didn't work nearly as hard and graduated with honors. It wasn't the degree(s) alone that got me to where I am, so much as the combination of them with the experience and habits picked up along the way. I didn't pursue an advanced degree after my B. S. because wanted to better assimilate what I'd learned into practice and didn't want to be what some would consider a well-educated idiot. Kudos to those here who went beyond and made the most of it!
I got a BA in Mass Communications at 23, and switched to Human Sexuality later in life,
earning an MEd at 47, and PhD at 50. I worked like a dog for the last two degrees and for additional professional training and experience. I don’t doubt myself but sometimes people will assume a grad degree in human sexuality is a joke. That’s insulting and far from the truth.
Sounds like you are suffering from the flip side of the Dunning-Kruger effect...
The side that gets the most publicity is there are people so ignorant they can't recognize their ignorance.
The flip side is that people with ability tend to take it for granted that everyone is at their level of ability.
Women often feel this way because we are frequently brought up among people who don't believe women are capable, intelligent and valuable. Some of us often experience success as failure, e.g. being the only one in a group whose award is presented privately and not communicated to the group.
I earned mine immediately after high school. It was a sort of extension of high school.
It's not that I didn't study--of course I did, but I also "partied", dated, and climbed a lot of rocks in those 4 years. In the end, it was the climbing that I loved much more than the academia.
I was always a "study bum," so I believe I got some valuable insight and clarity in my course of undergraduate study (film history, communications). What I lacked for years, and am on a mission to experience now, is confidence in my ability to apply my accrued knowledge.