Apartment hunting can be fun if you approach it the right way. What’s the “right way”? Give yourself plenty of time, meaning two months; be honest with yourself about priorities and budgets; and get help choosing a place if you can. If there’s advice or assistance available from your school or work, use it. Lean on your friends and family. With all that done, you’re ready to go on safari and find a place that fits your lifestyle.
If you’re looking in a major city, the natural place to start is with an apartment rental guide. They’re likely to be available at any local grocery store. These are basically published collections of ads, so they’re very useful in some ways, but no way are they going to reveal any flaws. Using the web to start the search for apartments is challenging, to put it nicely. Take the rental guide, get a big map that you can draw and make notes on, spread out on the dining room table, and circle what’s interesting to you.