The Academic Tinder

Forget swiping right for dates; it's time to swipe for fellow student advice. Holly Botterill talks to us about TyFy, the online platform allowing first and third year UoN students to communicate and help each other with uni life.

Starting university is an exciting time, but can also be incredibly scary. You’re meeting new people, adapting to a new way of living and having to grasp a whole new way of learning in a very short period of time. You’ve got a million and one questions and no idea who to ask. It almost feels like when you have finally found your feet it’s time to leave, and the thought of graduating is also daunting. Final year is a constant stream of job applications, work experience and worrying about what you’re going to do next– all whilst getting your degree.

Tyfy helps to make these problems easier to manage. They connect students with questions to students with answers who can offer advice about everything, from courses and specific modules to University life in general. It is all done through your phone, so no formal meetings and no time commitment – it’s peer mentoring made easy! The busy student life makes it hard to commit to face-to-face meetings, but with Tyfy you can have mentoring sessions on the bus, in the library or while you’re watching TV. We can all spend less time scrolling through social media and spare a few minutes to use our phones productively and help a fellow student out, especially when it benefits both of you.

“Match, ask, answer, review – it really is as simple as that”

Tyfy was founded by University of Nottingham alumnus, James Doherty, and aims to make peer mentoring quicker, easier and more accessible. Working alongside the University’s current services, Tyfy wants to increase student engagement with mentoring and uses technology to do so, matching you to someone on your course or someone who has done the module that you need help with. Often, the thought of approaching a final year on campus is terrifying. You don’t have the confidence, and you don’t even know whether they’re on your course, but Tyfy makes it easy. Match, ask, answer, review – it really is as simple as that.

“Tyfy to connect with an older student gives you access to the answers and advice you need within minutes.”

For younger students Tyfy provides academic support, help settling into university and someone to answer all of those questions. During first year it is easy to feel overwhelmed. You’re not used to the lecture format, reading academic papers or writing coursework – sometimes you don’t even know what building you’re supposed to be in.

Luckily, there are hundreds of seasoned students only a message away who have been in the same position. Older students are a wealth of knowledge – they’ve studied the module, so they already know the answer. Whilst to second and third years the ins and outs of referencing seem like second nature, to a first year it is a foreign and pretty confusing concept. Something as simple as picking up your phone and using Tyfy to connect with an older student gives you access to the answers and advice you need within minutes.

Mentors can also benefit from reviews, which act as a bank of tangible evidence that you possess the skills employers look for. The real world is competitive, and it is no longer enough to list skills on your CV. Engaging with younger students through Tyfy can enhance your employability and gives you something unique to talk about in interviews – plus you get to make the student experience slightly easier for someone.

As well as its peer mentoring service, Tyfy also runs a blog giving advice about a range of student life topics; from living in halls and navigating University friendships to interview tips and what to do after you graduate.

Tyfy is currently available to Nottingham University Business School students and is looking to expand University-wide, but they need your help to make this possible. If you’d like to be able to use Tyfy, please fill out the one minute survey ( https://tyfy.co/student-request-form/ ) and they’ll get in touch with your lecturers to try and make it happen. If you’re a NUBS student you can sign up today at https://tyfy.co/ 

Holly Botterill

Article image 1, 2 and 3 courtesy of Emily Goodwin.

Featured image courtesy of Elliott Brown via Flickr. Image license found here.

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