Two quickies on college:
First, the thing I might like best of all about college is the throw-back mentality. That is, you're growing up with the same kids through middle and high school, and so you kind of feel compelled to disown all the "childish" things you enjoyed when you were younger to prove that you're "mature" and all that. But in college, all those old things--comics, toys, cartoon shows--become instant bonding material. There's no need to put on a facade--you're already in college after all--so there is a free reign to be goofy and enjoy all the things that made childhood such a blast.
Maybe that's just Carleton and its uber-mellow persona, and at more preppy schools people are talking about their favorite yacht and their upcoming vacation in the Swiss Alps ("Good one, Chet!"). But at least at Carleton, the freedom to do all the bizarre things that you've always wanted to do (Campus-wide dart gun fight! Cookies available 24/7!) are what makes these four years great.
Second, a more personal note. Driving home from work today in Bethesda, I saw a Black Jeep in front of me with a "Carleton College" sticker on it. Needless to say, this is a rare occurance in my lovely hometown, most of whose residents guess that Carleton is a community college somewhere. So that sent my mind racing: who among the few Carls in the area could have been in front of me? Or perhaps it was a graduate? Anyway, if you're Carleton affiliated and you drive a Black Jeep (and were in Bethesda today), give me a ring. I want to know who you are.