Whether you (or someone you love) is just heading off to college, heading back to college, or just about to make the leap from graduation to the "real world," there are certain essentials that will not wait. Finding a place to live, finding your way around a new town, finding ways to network professionally, and finding a job (immediately or eventually) are just some of the obstacles to get through. Here are a few fabulous, free apps that can help with any stage of the transition from "college to graduation to beyond."

1. Hot Pads

If you’re looking for a great deal on real estate, Hot Pads is the new "it" app to download. The app very nearly automates the search for a cool rental or sale property and even lets you make inquiries right from your phone. You can view photos and detailed listing information, learn more about the area surrounding the property, save search parameters and favorite properties, and perform searches nationwide.

2. Indeed

Each month, 100+ million job seekers visit Indeed, hoping to find (and snag) their dream job. In fact, today Indeed is ranked #1 among mobile-friendly job search engines. Not only can you search locally, but you can search for positions in 50 countries.  The app supports 28 languages and offers free access to a database chock full of 15+ million jobs. Part-time, internship, freelance, full-time, contract, and other jobs are all well represented. Indeed also has a resume tool to make formatting and submitting your resume through the app a breeze.

3. LinkedIn

It’s likely no surprise that LinkedIn is now considered a non-optional networking resource for students and new graduates—and for professionals throughout their careers. There is simply no other resource quite like LinkedIn for making new connections and keeping up with important contacts. Best of all, LinkedIn's job search and application features are considered to offer a uniquely personal way to use the power of "who you know" to win that coveted offer.

4. Dropbox

Dropbox makes even first-timers feel like experts at using "the cloud" to store their files and data. The app offers a full 2GB of storage with its free plan—and users who need more can always upgrade. Share files as links instead of sending attachments back and forth. Password-protect your account for maximum security. Store files, photos, videos, even whole presentations and access them across all your synced smart devices. Nothing could be easier—or more invaluable!

5. Evernote

Evernote is the app that grows and goes with you. Whether you’re a new graduate who needs to keep your college notes close as you learn the ropes in a new job, or you’re a new student who needs to make sure you never leave home without your homework…ever again…Evernote has a principle app that manages all of its functions, and a wide variety of ancillary apps for specialized needs. Evernote is also an invaluable networking tool as it allows you to scan and save business cards and notes about new colleagues. Best of all, you can use Evernote as a calendar, a note taker, a presentation tool, a research tool, and a searchable database…and even keep track of your finances as you transition from college to working life.

6. Waze

What’s even less fun than having a root canal? Getting lost on the way to that all-important interview or first day on the new job. Waze is the free app that will make sure this never happens to you. As a community-shared traffic app, Waze not only gives you great directions, but it re-routes you if certain zones have traffic issues (such as accidents, jams, or non-working traffic signals).