Before you begin your next apartment hunt you should already know the following things:
1. When you want to move?
2. Whether you have the application fee, a deposit and at least two month's worth of rent.
3. Your credit history.
4. The kind of suite you want.
5. The amenities that you will use (not what you hope to one day use).
6. A busy, quiet, or semi-active neighborhood.
7. The type of people you don't mind living nearby. (Due to Fair Housing Laws, the apartment staff can't help you with this, so be observant).
Lack of money, noise sensitivity, personal prejudice, and other issues will affect how you view a community. So why suffer for a year moving somewhere you know you will not like much after the newness of convenient shopping and a lovely pool wear off? The issues that come with a large complex will be there. The noise of busy streets will drive you mad if you enjoy peace and quiet. Don't forget if you have personal hang-ups with social class, same sex couples, and a certain ethnicity or two, those issues don't go away either no matter how much you talk yourself into being more understanding.
Take your apartment shopping experience seriously and don't permit others to persuade you into committing to something you know deep inside you just don't want. Pay close attention to the environment and don't be distracted by pretty things, discounted rent, and other specials. Check out more entries on this site about apartment shopping. After reading many of them, you will be well-prepared to make a good decision.
Best wishes to you!
Nicholl McGuire also shares tips at Workplace Problems, see here.