flip cupChug, chug, chug, chug! Ah, the familiar sounds of college life. At least mine, anyway -- no one at Boston College was chanting anything about studying, that's for sure. Partying is an undeniable part of college life, and I would argue it's a very, very important part. And so would The Princeton Review. They've just updated their list of the top 20 party schools for 2012, proving that even academics think that the social scene of a university is something to be considered when choosing where to spend the next four years of your life.

The party atmosphere of a campus doesn't necessarily need to be praised, but it needs to be acknowledged. Prospective students need to know what they're getting into: Eggs and kegs at 8 a.m. before football games on Saturday mornings are way different than eggs and coffee at 8 a.m. before board games in the library.

So which colleges made the list of the top 20 party schools?

1. Ohio University, Athens

2. University of Georgia, Athens

3. University of Mississippi, Oxford

4. University of Iowa, Iowa City

5. University of California, Santa Barbara

6. West Virginia University, Morgantown

7. Penn State University, University Park

8. Florida State University, Tallahassee

9. University of Florida, Gainesville

10. University of Texas, Austin

11. University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

12. Syracuse University, Syracuse, N.Y.

13. Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge

14. University of Wisconsin, Madison

15. DePauw University, Greencastle, Ind.

16. Indiana University, Bloomington

17. Arizona State University, Tempe

18. University of Maryland, College Park

19. University of Vermont, Burlington

20. University of South Carolina, Columbia

Maybe that's why Casey Anthony is in Ohio! Top party school, what what! Penn State and the University of Florida were also on the list of the douchiest colleges in America, so there's that.

Most of these schools are huge, state universities that rank within the top 100 academic institutions in the country. They've got tons to offer students besides an amazing bar scene, or frat scene, or drinking-your-face-off scene. A school's partying reputation is certainly a facet of campus life, but not its sole descriptor.

During my college search I focused on schools with an esprit de corps because that was important to me -- I wanted a spirited community of intelligent people who knew how to have a good time and were fans of the college's sports teams (I liked UNC Chapel Hill, University of Southern California, UVA, Notre Dame, and Boston College).

I would have no problem either attending any of the schools on this party list (if I turned back time) or letting my child attend. Having fun in a safe, academic environment seems like a winning combo to me.

What about you?


Photo via JMRosenfeld/Flickr