In the past nine years I haven't had much of an opportunity to drive myself crazy in the interim between turning in a paper and getting it back with a grade. I'm not sure it's a good feeling now any more than it was in my early twenties my first time through college (when I was in high school I frankly didn't give a damn, so that doesn't count).
One thing that IS always a thrill and hasn't changed in a decade is that feeling of "dude, kick ass!" I get when I get a paper back with a good grade on it. Getting an A on my first paper in Core Humanities and nailing the first three quizzes in Marketing (where I pulled a 97 average)...it is REAL nice to have some early success. I'd be happy just pulling a B average and not looking like an idiot around people younger and more immersed in the material than I am. All three of my classes during this summer session are core requirements, not stuff I'd otherwise have a great deal of interest in, so to do well at them (at least in the first week) is a great boost to my self-confidence. It makes me feel a little less like an old geezer to beat some of these whippersnappers at their own game.
As a side note, I've learned that sitting in the back of the room and wearing a baseball cap pulled down like Beetle Bailey apparently makes me look quite a bit younger---two people (and by "people" I mean "girls my wife's age or younger") have already said "Really? You're over 30?", which warms my very heart and soul. Then again, if I took my cap off, they'd see that I'm losing my hair and look every one of my nearly 32 years. As they say in advertising, "perception is reality".