What are the academics like at your school?
Professors definitely know you're name, even in big classes, they will make and effort and if you attend office hours or study sessions, you'll be recognized. Student studying ranging from minimal to intensive depending on the person, but students still find plenty of time for extracurriculars. We aren't a competitive lot, and many students help each other study.
Most of the departments have picnics and socials. For example, the Chemistry department has a couple picnics and an annual softball game against the Biology department. The Chemistry and Biology students also have weekly snacks, and the Math Department has an ice cream social every semester. I see two of my professors in the gym regularly (they train for marathons!), and some of the small classes or departments get together for parties or dinner at a professor' home.