A legitimate, worthwhile journey for your parents who refer to the "college experience" as a rite of passage, a time to grow up, a time to meet new people, and a time to discover your passion. It is also described as "the best time of your life."
Nowadays, the "college experience" is one of the biggest clichés out there. Modern colleges are artificial bubbles on the map that do not in any way mirror the real world. Most people are self-absorbed, liberal douches whom you'd be better off not meeting.
The women (a largely perverted stereotype) can be either good or bad looking depending on the college. However, they form cliques with other popular people and you will never get a shot. Your only chance is to find one good and drunk at a sleazy frat party, or be good looking and have some serious game.
When you do discover your passion (hopefully sooner than later), you will likely discover that it can be achieved at an easier, cheaper college or trade school. At this point, any rational person would drop out of their current hellhole.
The college experience is nothing more than high school round 2.