The winter is not a bad time to shop for an apartment in Hattiesburg. There might not be as many apartments available at this time, but it is a bit of an opportunity to fly under the radar. If you start looking in January or February, you might find it easier to get a place quickly and painlessly, although there may be slightly less selection.
Hattiesburg landlords are going to want to do some background research on you before renting you an apartment. Don't be offended by this. It is standard procedure for them to request things like confirmation of enrolment or employment, or to run a credit check on you. If you have any questions about the procedure, most landlords will be happy to answer them for you.
You'll notice that almost everyone in Hattiesburg has a car, and with good reason. The availability of public transportation is quite limited. Hub City Transit operates three bus lines within the city, but they only run for twelve hours a day, and leave much of the city unreached. If you need to be places outside of those hours, and off those lines, you're going to need a car.
The historic downtown district is not only beautiful, but also home to the best shops, coffee shops and restaurants in the city. Watching a Golden Eagles football game is a great way to show some town pride. The area is also well known for its golfing, so if you like to play you will have a lot of high quality options while in Hattiesburg. The Mahogany Bar is a local watering hole that is very popular with the student population.