Funny, I also just started playing my first live games a little less than two weeks ago and was googling around for opinions regarding this same question (I'm also a university student too so pretty much same situation as you). I've actually had pretty good success so far, and managed to turn an initial $80 investment into $500 with a few sessions a week. I live in Tampa so I have a pretty good selection of card rooms plus the Hard Rock casino, none of which are more than 30 mins away from me so I've been able to play at a few different types of venues. That being said, my initial impression is that the type of players you will face are definitely dependent on the time and day, but also dependent on the venue. For example, the casino attracts a wide range of players, many of whom are on vacation (especially right now) and just want to gamble, but also has a large amount of regulars. On the other hand, the greyhound track near me, while being a shithole in a TERRIBLE neighborhood, seems to be a gold mine full of terrible players any day of the week. They ALL are just there to gamble. I was able to make over $250 there in an hour on a wednesday at 3pm, and I'm not even that good.
Anyway, my point is that I think it's hard to estimate exactly what kind of crowd you'll be facing, so my advice would be to just go out and test the waters. As a general rule of thumb I think weekend evenings and nights tend to have a larger and more diverse sampling of players with lots of recs, while weekdays tend to have lower attendance and more regulars. Remember though, that even if you happen to find yourself at a table full of mostly regs, being patient and isolating the two ATMs at the table can still make for a very profitable session.
For your first cash game, my advice would be to go in with the initial intention of just gathering information and getting comfortable with all the intricate little side tasks that live play involves, such as keeping track of peoples stacks, estimating pot size, bets, observing how other players react, etc. (it can be a lot to take in at first if you are used to exclusively online play!).
As a final positive note, if you are a winning player online, expect to be pleasantly surprised at how comparably soft the 1/2 games are, since 1/2 is usually the lowest available stakes for live play.
TL;DR Weekends after 2-3pm = usually good. Go a few different days and times to get a better idea. Focus on getting comfortable with live play first, then focus on everything else second. Just my two cents as a fellow live play transitioner.
EDIT: I forgot to say, I would actually not recommend buying in for the table max for your first game. Maybe around 40-60 BB. I'm sure some people may disagree with me, but my rational here is that your goal in the initial few hours of your first cash game isn't so much to maximize your profits at the table but to gather intel, get acclimated to live play, and minimize losses. However, after you are confident and comfortable, consider buying in for 80-100+ BB so that you can maximize profits.