Finding an apartment right in Dekalb can be tricky, as the vacancy of suites is actually below the national average. If you want to give yourself the best shot, try looking in the earlier part of the summer. This is usually your best opportunity to find a rental property.
Try to book all of your apartment viewings as early in the day as possible. That way, if you like the apartment and hit it off with the landlord, you're first in line. If you're happy with the place, submit an application on the spot to express interest before other interested parties get a chance to look at the apartment.
Dekalb is small enough that there is no large public transit system administered by the local government. However, students trying to get to school can take advantage of the routes operated by Huskie Bus lines, that connect NIU to the commonly visited living and shopping parts of Dekalb. Huskie runs 7 days a week, although with hour changes on weekends and over the summer.
Golf is a great hobby for someone in the Dekalb area, as there are four great courses in and near the city. Right across the street to the south of NIU is Fatty's Pub, the local bar that caters to college students. For a fun and affordable day out, pay a visit to Star Worlds Arcade for an afternoon of playing vintage video games.