I go to a small liberal arts school. I always wanted to go to the best school I could, but I grew up in a small town with almost zero resources and had to deal with some pretty scary abusive family stuff for most of my life. I got kind of screwed up for awhile and barely scraped my way into college. Now that I'm here, and that other stuff is thankfully not an issue anymore, I'm a physics and math double major and at the top of my class, although I'm not sure what that really means. But the more exposure I get to other physics students, mostly through PF, the more I get worried about the quality of the curriculum here. We have no honors classes, and nearly every book we use is simply the standard, nothing exceptional. Same goes for the math department. I'm ahead of my class, but not by a lot I guess. For some context, this is the summer after my sophomore year, and I'm working through Griffiths Electrodynamics and Arfken on my own, which seem to be about my level. I can do almost all of the problems in both, but occasionally something in Arfken stumps me. All of this is new material to me, except for basic electricity and magnetism from Giancoli. I'm also working through, at a more leisurely pace, Visual Complex Analysis by Tristan Needham, which I'm loving. So that's to give an idea of what I do outside of class. How can I get a high quality education when I feel like all my classes are toned down? I want to really be competitive when I graduate, but I feel like I'm barely making headway compared to kids that get to do amazing things like take graduate courses at Harvard when they're freshman. I'm just feeling kind of lost and frustrated, and I have no idea whether I'm feeling stuck because I have elevated expectations of myself, or because I'm not getting what I need from my school and peers. I guess I'm looking for two things, mostly: -General advice on how to get more out of my education, and maybe some idea of where I'm at compared to people from bigger, nicer schools. -Maybe some kind of (subjective) ideas of what people feel a dedicated undergrad should have a solid grasp on by the time they graduate (a book list would be great!) I know this is kind of a wishy-washy post, and I hope I don't sound like I'm bragging or just making excuses. Really, any advice at all would be appreciated. Thank you.