I definitely get this a lot. This feeling, combined with being very intimidated by large, existing code-bases are some of my biggest concerns as an incoming college freshman pursuing a BS in Comp Sci. Surely I wont be expected to understand the entire code-base and all its existing functions/calls right off the bat when I lang my first full-time job? However, I'd feel like as someone who would call themselves a programmer I should certainly expect that of myself.
Looks like I'm a bit off on a tangent, but as someone who this post directly applies to, thank you for posting it. Looking at brilliant and efficient solutions to problems that I've previously solved using a god-awful combination of nested control structures was starting to make me feel as if I could never hold a candle to guys already in the industry who seemed to me to have much more intelligence and/or natural affinity for it than I do.
I start my degree program late August. However, these thoughts now give me plenty of motivation to do the absolute best that I can and take away as much as possible from these next 4 years.