The winter is the worst time to look for apartments in San Jose. Much of California experiences a similar effect to San Jose, when renters from colder states flock south for the winter, filling up the rental apartments. If you look during the summer, you enjoy the benefit of apartment turnover both from snowbirds and students, making it the most advantageous time to look.
The high price of rent in San Jose means that many people, especially students and young people, will benefit from roommates. Find a group of roommates that you can trust, and who are equally as responsible as yourself. Otherwise, you could find yourself on the hook for their irresponsibility if you're renting an apartment together.
If you stick mostly to the downtown area, you can get around very easily without a car in San Jose. If you live or work further out though, a car is the best way to get around. You can use the bus and light rail system operated by the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority as well.
Hockey fans like to come out and support the San Jose Sharks during the NHL season. San Jose is also home to one of the bigger malls in this part of the country, so shoppers can stay entertained for hours at the Valley Fair mall. The Japantown district allows you to take in some of the local Japanese community's culture, food and shopping. Head to Santana Row if you're looking for an upscale club to party at.