Party atmosphere is a little strong for my taste. Academics are great, though. Lots of interesting classes, and many great programs. There are lots of very bright people, too! There are some dumb ones as well, but it's a public school, so I guess there's bound to be some..
Overall, it's a typical college town with great sports, great parties, and great academics.
In regards to food, there are a lot of cheap options, and tons of places to eat. The dining centers are solid, and have some pretty decent variety. There are many fast food places on campus, and tons of places to eat in Gainesville.
on that note, I have always thought of myself as having slightly above average intelligence, but my 3 dorm mates make me feel like a freaking Genius haha! No clue how they got in.
So far, my classes seem very informative and like if they really want you to understand in depth the course. My professors are amazing.
I see lots of blondes and, for some reason, LOTS of asians. I think I see hispanics the least.
Tons of popular restaurant and fast food chains, so you'll be good.
Everything is very centrally located, and the bus system is perfect for getting around mostly.
As for the party scene, well I come from a Big city known for its night life, so I find this town to be pretty bland. It's entertaining and has a variety of pubs, bars, and clubs but nothing too wild. I'm still wondering where UF gets this "party school" rep.
The party school rep definitely comes out more in the fall, during football season. Tailgates are insane, and so much fun.
I think that social life and academics are both really strong. Gainesville in itself is really interesting... the areas not inhabited by the college and college students are kind of country/hick. They call the people who actually live here ACRs (Alachua County Residents).
Since I've started I've noticed quite a lot of asians as well. Everywhere I walk I hear some language I can't understand haha. Also I feel like a large portion of women here are a bit snobby for some reason but that might just be personal experience... But it's really a lot of fun, I'm really looking forward to fall and the larger crowds.
My first semester, I remember thinking how Greek-oriented social life seemed. Ended up joining one my second semester so take that however you want. The main places people go out are on university ave. The area immediately north of campus is midtown which consists of bars and restaurants. The most popular places to go out here are Swamp, Cantina, O!O, Balls, Salty. Further east on university ave is the downtown area where all the clubs are: Bank, Vault, Jolie, etc. Gainesville has become more and more strict about underage drinking, so the bouncers are too. Tons of people use fakes, usually IDs of somebody older that looks like you. If you choose to do this, I'd advise you to just be careful. Frat houses will also be a popular area for girls to go; no fake required.
The dining halls suck in my opinion and aren't worth it if you're not living close to one your freshman year. But you're probably going to get a meal plan anyway cause that's what all freshmen do so I'd advise you to start with a declining balance since you can always upgrade later. Remember that if you sign for a meal plan, you're stuck with it for the whole year whether you like it or not.
The Gainesville area in general is pretty hick and chances are you'll never really see it. Campus is boxed in by four roads: University Ave to the north, 13th st. to the east, 34th st. to the west, and Archer Rd. to the south. Target, Wal-Mart, and places like that along with restaurants can be found on Archer Rd. You'll need to drive to get there, or figure out the bus schedule. University Ave is a bunch of bars, restaurants, and campus related stuff like bookstores and Target Copy. The midtown area also has a lot of apartments that are popular with UF students because they're so close. Cool place to live. 13th st. has a few more frat houses and sorority row will be on that side as well. Sweetbay is on 34th st. Not a whole lot to see on that side.
Academics are as hard or easy as you want it to be. I think things are generally on the easier side though. Definitely depends on your major.