Did you visit Carleton before applying?
My first visit was not an accurate picture of the college—I was just in town to see St. Olaf, and drove by Carleton and only really saw Musser. But I came back after applying to both schools (my college counselor convinced me that Carleton was a great fit for me) and stayed overnight at both places ... and that changed everything! The students at Carleton were lively and involved and fun-loving and creative. They also were really genuine and wanted to get to know me even though I was just a prospie. No other school that I visited really cared that I was there.
I came to Accepted Student Days, and I remember being stunned by how excited everyone was to see prospies. All of the Carls were really welcoming and eager to convince us why Carleton was the best school.
When I visited during Admitted Students Weekend, I audited a 300-level Computer Science Course, with zero previous Computer Science experience. By the end of the lecture, I felt like I had a deep understanding of the material...and had a blast while learning it. That's what Carleton is about: awesome profs, awesome classes, and learning unexpected things in enjoyable ways.