Re: Mill Ave.
A lot of this comes from the opinions of my brother and sister-in-law... ASU
class of 1997 btw. Mill used to be a pretty cool and hip place that had a lot of local flavor... save for the nazi-style law enforcement tactics. More and more so it has become corporatized and homogenized. I mean once you've seen one Urban Outfitters you have seen them all. Pretty much most of the original local businesses are all but gone, replaced by the chains and cookie-cutter frat bars. I personally find the campus to be ugly, others might call it ecletic, as about every imaginable architectual style is represented somewhere on campus. The upside to it being a "zoo" as George is that there are a lot of different social groups on campus, from the communter student, to the non-trad, to the bookworm, to the kids from SoCal and the Midwest (perhaps not unlike yourself) interested in 4 years of fun in the sun.
Now I would say go and check out Arizona as well(class of 2002 here). While some parts of Tucson are a hole, it has a much cooler vibe to it than Tempe in my ever so humble opinion. While parts of University Ave, right east of Main Gate, have become somewhat corporatized (with your Urban Outfitters and Chipotle), 4th ave and Congress remain delightfully Tucsoneqse... with dive bars, hipster bars, frat bars, and everything in between. Not to mention Tucson has bigger and cooler mountains than Phoenix does. Lets not forget Arizona's campus is far better looking... we still have grass on campus and at least every building uses some variation of red brick.
Stop drop and roll will not save you in hell. --- seen on a church marque in rural Virginia