I am fairly new to Linux, I've played around with it casually, but I've decided it's time to start learning. I'm a computer science major in college. I think I'm ready to make a full-time switch to Linux on my laptop, as I've been sort of unimpressed with Windows 8. I use my laptop mainly for college work, but I also play games in my downtime b/w classes.
When it comes to choosing an OS, there were far more options than I realized. I've been told Arch Linux is a top pick, and that it forces you to learn Linux. I've also been told it' anything but beginner friendly. So then I found archbang, which seems like they advertise it as arch linux for notebooks, but much simpler (or more prepackaged.) I also liked the sound of Bodhi Linux. I've also been told the lightweight nature of Lubuntu is good for laptops.
I am open to any suggestions. My main goal is to try and become proficient with use of Linux, and it's command terminal.
TL;DR: What OS should I put on my laptop for college use, and to learn linux.