I'm finished with most of my Astrophysics bachelors and I find myself struggling to think about what I learned about the universe as a whole. I did the major because I'm very contemplative of the existence of everything. I thought that studying the universe, which is infinite, and trying to see how we are making sense of it, would help me think about huge concepts such as the meaning of life, etcetera. This is NOT what happened. Unfortunately I ended up finishing the degree (w/ one class to spare) in half the time because I started late, so I was studying my rump off almost every waking hour of each day and didn't have enough time to really ponder what's going on. But now it's summer and I finally have time to think about what I put all those hours into studying. But I'm kind of underwhelmed now that I know all this stuff about the universe because ultimately I'm brought back to the same question I've been asking since I was a teenager: why should we believe anything about what we see with our telescopes? I.e. Plato's Allegory of the Cave where there are people in a cave that see shadows on the wall and believe the world is 2D because they can't see 3D objects casting the shadows. We're seeing celestial objects communicated to us by proxy of EM waves and all our theories of the universe are based on that. Fine. But, you know....what's *really* going on? MMmm? It's kind of unsatisfying. I'm still kind of fuzzy about parallax too. After trigonometric parallax begins to lose precision after a certain distance, how do we calculate the radius of astronomical objects? I've gone on a schschpiel (sp) about how I feel about the major. What did you learn? What are your opinions about the universe and meaning of life? I'm not a hippie by the way. Like Patton Oswald, I too despise hippies. That doesn't mean I'm not interested in thinking about the meaning of life.