Inspiration

Our first year in university led us to create this project. The four of us felt that we were diving in head-first into a completely new world, so far away from home, with no valuable information whatsoever that could be of use to us. It was a scary experience to go through, and we don’t want anybody to experience such a thing ever again— that’s why we created Ustudents.

What it does

Our project aims to solve the stress and uncertainties of going into university. Utudents allows high school students to connect with university students so that they can ask questions, express concerns, and make new friends— all before entering university.

How we built it

The three developers decided to use React and Redux for developing the front end, and Google Firebase for the Backend. We decided to use Firebase since we feel it will save us time regarding authentication and setting up real time sockets. We used firebase authentication for user authentication and cloud firestore for noSQL database that supports real time updates. We also used Semantic UI for our UI framework.

Challenges we ran into

  1. Collaborating with others online
  2. Distribution of tasks
  3. The short timeframe, mixed with schoolwork
  4. Unstable internet Generally, we feel that online hackathons are harder than the offline ones since each team members still have other errands to do, unlike in an offline hackathon.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

  1. Being able to turn prospective ideas into a working prototype in just a short time period
  2. Being able to brainstorm ideas as a team and making it happen
  3. Being able to coordinate relatively well even from afar
  4. Finishing our MVP despite many hurdles and limited timeframe

What we learned

We learned that we should plan our ideas ahead, and aim for a small MVP first, instead of going over our heads and not finishing the project. We almost didn't finish our project since our MVP was unideal at first.

What's next for Ustudents

Next, if this receives good feedback from the judges, we will continue to develop it, having some ideas in our mind for future improvements. First, we would polish our app (minor UI improvements), then we would implement a Room feature, where users can either create or join a room with similar users to discuss university-related stuffs and make new friends. Also, we weren't able to make the University Students Dashboard, we planned to have a gamified experience for University Students, so that each time they connect with a highschool student they get a point, and if this point is accumulated, they can level up and unlock rewards from sponsors.

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