`It's great that you went to the military and all, but like you said you went to college when you were 30 so you weren't really in a position to have much of a social life with kids that were as much as 12 years younger than you were. College is obviously about education, but it's also about more than that. It's a place where you can form friendships with people that are going through the same thing you are (being away from home) and it's a place where you can make your own decisions and move on from being a "kid." Sure getting an education is great, but if you don't take advantage of the fact that you're living wall to wall with kids your age (especially in freshman dorms where everyone is new at first) and interact socially, then you're not truly experiencing a big part of what college is all about.
Also, where did you go to college ralpheb? I go to Oberlin (22nd ranked LAC, 3rd in undergraduate teaching among LACs ) currently, and while I'm politically conservative and not a hippie (though I do smoke weed and I drink) I've found plenty of fellow "normal" friends being around people that share common interests and goals and that is part of what makes college, at least in my opinion, so much better than high school.