Beyond its late role as obligatory, super-expensive job training for the modern workforce, college also serves as sort of cultural/pop-cultural swap-meet. For as long as you're there, you’re surrounded by people who throw art, music, movies, TV, just everything at you every single day and for several years. That’s one hell of a side benefit, honestly.
Later, when you get old and isolated, that firehose of things to explore dries up. You can still find this stuff through ever-evolving music media (magazines online/off-line, blogs…which, it occurs to me for the first time are like the ‘zines of my youth (look, I’m slow)), but it’s both a lot harder and, often, more narrow; you lose the beneficial scatter-brain nature of inputs that comes with getting thrown together with a bunch of random people. Those people expose you to the names of artists, even entire genres, for you to check out and, when the stars align, fall in love with. Again, pretty damn amazing, but then once one’s four or five or six (me) years of college ends and it all goes away.
So, what do you do?
When my interest in music sort of reignited in my mid-30s, I had decent luck with picking albums by cover art. Even as it’s not as central to a musician’s art as his/her music, what he/she puts on his/her album cover speaks to a person's idiom. The artist makes his/her introduction through that album cover. This approach just worked out more often for me to going by a review of a band.*