I love the University of Michigan. I don't want to leave, and I'd recommend it to anyone. I can't wait to send my kids here and come back for football games.
My perspective was not, however, always so rosy. When I got rejected from every school I wanted to go to, I didn't even know where Ann Arbor was, and I certainly had never considered living in or even visiting the flyover states. (If you can't tell, I'm one of the "asshole East Coast rich kids" that the other posters warn you about!) But with time, I've met some incredible people, had a blast going out in Ann Arbor, and learned much more about everything than if I had gone to one of the WASP havens I used to dream about.
Academically, Michigan LSA is a joke. Even 400 level math classes are easy As. Engineering is tougher: there's a lot of work, but at 300 level and above you get some pretty good grade inflation. In the 100-200s you just have to stick it out and let the pretenders fall by the wayside. And in the 500s, everyone gets an A, which looks pretty sweet for grad school apps.
If you want a high GPA, be prepared to fight for it. The UM College of Engineering is full of kids like me who are bitter because they got rejected from MIT et al and are overqualified for this school. It can get pretty ugly at the top.
If you don't want a high GPA, then your life is pretty easy. You can coast on a 3.2 and go out 5 nights a week.
For the most part, the profs are a mix. my LSA teachers were a joke, i can't believe they get paid 100k/yr. Many engineering guys can't speak english, and most suck at teaching, but honestly if you need to go understand lectures to learn, you're gonna have problems. And it's not like it's different at other top engineering schools. They're good schools because of research output, and that's what these people are here to do.
Some tests were hard as hell, most are reasonable to easy. The most difficulty I've had has been in groups where the other people don't speak English or are from Michigan (in either case, they can't write worth a damn). Most of my friends feel the same way. Whatever the case may be, I've learned to work with all kinds of people, and that's a good thing.
One final point: take french/spanish 101/102 in the basement of the MLB. you can thank me later.
Socially, UM is very easy going relative to what I experienced growing up in an NYC suburb. I guess compared to farmland, Ann Arbor is unfriendly, but these whiners just need to get thicker skin.
The biggest adjustment I had to make was realizing that you can't make fun of in-state kids (or be sarcastic around them) because they just don't get it. Also, they cannot seem to understand people being reserved and not wanting to talk to everyone they meet. And then, when they become friends with you, they are shocked that you're actually a d**k/b**ch to your friends. Chalk it up to differences in culture.
Another thing you'll notice if you're from out of state is that people here think Michigan is really as good as Harvard. It's sickening to hear them go on and on about how elite we are as students -- when they got a 1350 on the SATs and say 'granite' instead of 'granted' in conversation. This school is FULL of kids who think they're brilliant, when only a few are. Don't let it get to you.
Parties run the gamut, frats can be good, some bars are good if you have a good ID. A lot of people think they are really good at beer pong/beruit, but few are. A nice thing about Ann Arbor is that you don't pay to get into parties.
Football season is ridiculous. Get tickets whether you like sports or not. I made the mistake of not getting them freshman year because I hate football, but in the end I just had to pay out my ass to get them from scalpers (aka other students). Hockey is good too, gives you something to do before pregaming.
A lot of the reviews here talk about kids with money. I guess I come from a wealthy place, because when I arrived here the first thing I noticed is how many people don't drive German cars. There's a mix, just like there is at any expensive school. And, if you want to, it's pretty easy to fake being rich in college, considering we all live like slobs.
Truth be told, there's something for everyone. Rich kids who act like it, rich kids who don't, hipsters, etc. You'll find something you like, and you can try just about anything. In fact, if you had told me 3 years ago that I'd have the friends I do today, I'd never have believed you.
One thing that all out of state kids hate is the schedule. A 9 day Christmas break is insulting, and not getting off the Wednesday before Thanksgiving is pretty lame. BUT, you do get done the last week of April, which is kinda cool.And be prepared for it to be COLD. I live in the Northeast, but it is nothing like Michigan. The wind is brutal, it can really kill the nightlife sometimes.