Okay, I have a bit of free time tonight before I pass out so here's my actual contribution to your question galen.
I'm still in college, this is my fifth and final year of a five year program, that being Chemical Engineering. Overall I enjoy it, though there are a lot of aspects I dislike. I enjoy the challenge of the engineering curriculum, not necessarily solving problems but finding problems to solve and looking at critical thinking. While being math intensive, there's a lot of interesting material science theory I have been able to learn and hopefully some interesting biochemistry and other elective based material this upcoming year. My dislikes for the program are almost entirely administrative. I dislike the clear favoritism that is shown towards some students, the fact that many things that are told to us are changed without us being notified about them well in advance, and the fact that our academic adviser is mostly useless. The most important part for me academically though, is the co-op program. If you're going into Engineering of anything like that I highly, highly recommend it. For my college it's a full 48 weeks of paid internship experience, with 40-hour work weeks. These are split up into 5 blocks (essentially one summer, a spring and summer the next year, and a spring a summer the year after that). I worked for three vastly different companies, and have a much fuller and more well-rounded resume than other engineers that did not have these opportunities. The work opportunity is possibly the most important.
The co-op program was the deciding factor for making my choice of where to go. I feel like I made a good choice but, college is what you make of it. I didn't have much of a plan going in in terms of what was going to happen socially and all that and it took me a year to find myself socially. It's been a ride since then though, and I wouldn't trade it for anything.
I party regularly, but not what you see in the movies. We get pretty trashed but it's a bunch of people from the radio station I'm a part of and then other associated friends in an invite only situation. Hell, we're having a basement concert and party at the end of this month and have done those semi-regularly. The radio station and my involvement with orientation have been the two best decisions I've made in the last four/five years. I've put a lot of work into my involvement with the radio station, had the opportunity to grow as a leader and political figure on campus at my college (this year will be my fourth year on the executive board of the radio station). On that end, we've been consistently ranked among the best college radio stations nationally, and were recently ranked in the top 10 by The Princeton Review. I've made my best friends through this, an ex-girlfriend, and met a lot of musicians and gained the confidence to start a record label with some roommates. There are clubs for every interest and I highly recommend getting involved with them. Spread yourself or focus heavily on one, that's your choice but check them out. You might find that being around people with the same interest as you that aren't necessarily in your major is a good thing (hint: it's a great thing).
Now on to Orientation, this is one thing I would have changed. I didn't get involved with the orientation program until last year and I would have done so earlier. It's been a great experience and this year I'm a lead OA which means I facilitate and train a group of OAs, who each will be responsible for a group of Freshman such as yourself during Orientation. You're going to find all sorts of people in your group, depending on how your college does it, and most of them you'll probably never talk to or see again but that's fine. Everyone else will be having the same or different struggles as you. Outside of not getting involved with that earlier, there's not much I would change. It's been a great ride.
I don't really spend all that much time studying or doing my homework, I still have a 3.30 GPA which is just fine for my major. I refuse to pull all-nighters and some people think I don't treat my coursework as seriously as I should. It's more that my values are different and my opinion of engineering is...indifferent...at best. Don't spend all your time inside studying unless you have a really great reason to do so.
I could write a lot more but I want to leave you with a couple last things to think about: Explore yourself, explore others, explore your interest, explore your surroundings. Explore as much as you can because you probably won't have as much freedom again. If you think you're going to regret not doing something, do it. That's something that took me a while to come to terms with and agree with.