The relative scarceness of rental property in Brookings means that you want to start looking early. Give yourself at least four months to start your apartment hunt to give yourself the best possible chance of finding a place that you're going to be happy with
Many landlords in Brookings will keep waiting lists of people looking for apartments. If you find a building that you like that doesn't have current vacancy, don't hesitate to reach out to the landlord anyway. If something opens up, you may be first in line for the apartment.
There is no public transit to speak of in Brookings, which is something to be aware of before you move to town. However, the small size of the community means that it is very friendly to both walkers and cyclists. If you happen to be out partying and need a ride home though, Brookings does offer the Safe Ride Home program which provides safe transit throughout the school year. This service operates a shuttle bus that stops at the busier parts of downtown and campus on Wednesday, Friday and Saturday nights until 2:30 A.M.
For a small city in South Dakota, Brookings has an impressive nightlife scene. Head down to Main Street on a Friday or Saturday night to check out one of the many restaurants or bars. For the best pizza in town, make sure to check out George's. Outdoors enthusiasts will love the hiking and cycling found in the Dakota Nature Park.