Good to hear, @senior2022 . When you feel yourself being overwhelmed by these thoughts again- and you will, especially the closer you get to decisions being released- read this thread again so you can maintain perspective.
My daughter, a current sophomore, is home for break and we were just talking about this. Like many colleges, these things go in cycles. Kids at Bates are still having parties, but they are being a little more careful about it. The good thing though is that the college is putting on a lot of events to keep kids busy, and they are well-attended and popular. I don't get a sense that they are enjoying life any less, and I wouldn't worry about it.
There are always going to be parties at Bates, but if you are looking for a raging Greek-type party, I am not sure they have a lot of that. There's no Greek life. My understanding is that the athletes have a lot of parties, but my daughter doesn't really hang out with athletes. Given the large percentage of athletes at Bates, I doubt there is a shortage of parties.
Academically, my daughter is now a big fish in a little pond, and I think it really suits her. I am very sure that she wouldn't have stood out in any way at all had she attended the first school she deposited at. She isn't a "big fish" personality though, and attends a small college. If she had attended the other school, I am sure she would have enjoyed it too. I Persoanlly think its better to be a big fish, simply because it might lead to more opportuntiies.