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Stanza Living: Redefining Student Residences in India

Relocating to a new city can be difficult and nerve-racking. When everything including the food, the places and its people seem alien, all one wishes for is a sense of belonging, of fraternity and of comfort.

Merely after a month of living in my Paying Guest (PG) accommodation, I was devastated because I knew that the glorious days of living comfortably with my parents was over. However, not every out-station student shared this same feeling of resentment. My friend, Ishita, seemed to enjoy her time in her accommodation. In fact, while all of us would look forward to holidays and couldn’t wait to book our flights to our hometowns, she would often say that she’d miss all this fun at home.

One day, she took me to Stanza Living. That day, I understood why!

To cut to the chase and help out-station students searching for accommodation, I have noted 7 broad points that struck me most about Stanza Living.

 

Incredible Food

What is the first thing that comes to your mind when you hear ‘pg food’? While ‘bad’, ‘stale’ and ‘unbearable’ were some of the words that had occurred to me, ‘mess’ is the word that had occurred to my counterparts who lived in the hostel mess.

It is a misconception that PGs and hostels offer ‘healthy’ food. What actually happens, after a few weeks of having the same food in a routine, is that students get bored and start eating out, ordering in, or just rely on Maggi.

While I used to show up in college with pangs of hunger still troubling me (since I would often skip the terrible breakfast served in my PG), my friend Ishita always showed up well rested and well fed. When she told me that Stanza offers 4 meals as part of the monthly rent, at least in her residence, I was quite taken aback. While I had to store coffee and tea in thermos bottles, the 24*7 tea and coffee vending machine at Stanza would come to Ishita’s rescue when she would stay up late to study during exams. While I would order-in food at night and then wait for what would seem like ages for the food to get delivered, Ishita just had to run down to the all-night canteen to devour the most tempting of treats. In fact, she told me how the residences would often surprise them with a special dish or put out a new dish for student to try and give feedback!

And that is not all. The ‘Stanza App’ and its algorithms available at her fingertips would minimize food wastage and would enable customization of the food to meet the resident’s preferences.
Common Areas Equipped With Foosball And Pool Table

As a fresher in college, I remember feeling extremely nostalgic and homesick. I longed for my grandmother’s food and her warmth. I longed for my mother’s hands around me, as she would caress my hair. I longed for everything that reminded me of home. My seniors had told me that making friends in my PG was important because of the proximity of everyday living. However, most PGs, including mine, offer little opportunity for intra-PG interaction.

In sharp contrast to this state of affairs, when I visited Stanza, I was greeted by a pleasant surprise. I saw that people had occupied the lively dining areas and comfortable lounge rooms to chill with their friends, the dedicated fitness corners, foosball tables, and other entertainment units were always a witness to friendly challenges – Stanza provided countless opportunities to gel with fellow residents. In fact, it is imperative for all PG proprietors, like Stanza, to design spaces that make it conducive for students to meet and interact for an overall well-being and to feel connected.

 

Stanza Social: Monthly Events

In today’s modern world, things are changing and machines are making us more gadget-dependent. Face-to-face interaction is becoming a thing of the past, as students are taking to communicating via social media platforms, chat messages and special apps on their smartphones.

However, residents at Stanza are encouraged to leave their smartphones, do away with interacting on virtual media spaces, and get down to real things in life, courtesy of the ‘Stanza Social’ privileges. These privileges encompass fun events and a calendar of activities which include movie screenings, adventure activities, birthday celebrations, intra-stanza competitions, game nights, fairs and fests that never let the fun down.

Apart from superior living facilities, ‘Stanzens’ have a range of exciting activities available to them that are opportunities for learning and healthy socializing.

And in case you absolutely want to step out for an evening out with your friends, Stanza comes to your rescue again with its privilege discounts and offers at local restaurants, salons, and other vendors. For instance, Stanza has partnered with leading service providers like Zomato, Urbanclap, Anytime Fitness, Looks Salon, and many more, all of whose services are accessible to ‘Stanzens’ at discounted rates.

 

Stanza Springboard: Networking And Internship Opportunities

As a college student, we all understand the importance of a strong resume. Internships are key to building experience as a student, since employers are more likely to hire someone with work experience rather than someone with a generic resume, lacking experience. Stanza Living understands this and works on this need to facilitate the residents’ way into the job-market. Through its collaboration with coaching institutes and professional certification providers, Stanza offers its residents access to unique internship programs, journal subscriptions, networking opportunities, soft skills workshops and counseling sessions which are factors considered important for student training and personality development.

 

Flexible Entry And Exit Through Stanza Student App

When I passed my XII boards, I remember feeling pumped for the freedom that the experience of college life would bring. It felt exciting and liberating! I was told that in college, it would be up to me to decide when and where to study, to find my classes and get there on time and to hold myself accountable overall.

When I started living in my PG, I noticed how the PG landlords were always trying to be nosy and came from an age-old mindset of moral policing.

What gives Stanza an edge over PG accommodation is that it does not believe in confining their residents. Stanza beautifully balances freedom and responsibility, unlike PGs or rented apartments. It does this through the technology-driven ‘Stanza App’, which provides new-age security solutions to the issue of students’ safety. This app works in coordination with a system of multi-layered security at Stanza’s entry and exit points which involve the use of biometric access cards, CCTV cameras along with incidence based alerts and a rapid response team. While this ensures safety of the students, Stanza’s flexible and student-friendly policies ensure students their rightful freedom. Students can conveniently apply for a night-out through the Stanza student app without arguing with any wardens or landlords.

 

Professional Housekeeping Staff

Effective housekeeping is an ongoing operation to keep the surroundings spic and span but this extremely basic requirement is often missed out and replaced by hit-and-miss cleaning done occasionally.

Housekeeping, as most people understand it, doesn’t just include keeping a house neat and orderly, maintaining floors free of slip and trip hazards and removing of waste materials but also requires paying attention to important details such as the layout of the entire space, the needs of the residents, as well as ensuring high standards of hygiene and sanitation.

I had often seen Ishita posting Instagram stories of her room and living areas. When you take a closer look at the pictures, you would see how the spaces are well-maintained and look so lively. The place screams “aesthetic”. This is because, besides keeping the residences fully furnished and equipped, Stanza boasts of a professionally trained housekeeping staff who run all the domestic chores, from on-demand room cleaning to maintenance and upkeep.

This team of housekeeping staff is not only passionate about cleanliness and hygiene but is also caring enough to tend to different needs of residents, thereby making Stanza a space students would love to come back to everyday.

 

‘Stanzanet’: Intranet Services To Connect You With Fellow Stanzens

Stanza’s ‘Intranet’ services are devised to keep the residents connected to each other, or their fellow ‘Stanzens’ Whether used for late night hunger pangs or last-minute notes exchange, the ‘Stanzanet’ comes to a student’s rescue even in the wee hours of the night by connecting a Stanzen to fellow resident mates and giving them a family in the new city!

 

Feature Image Credits: Stanza Living

Vaibhavi Sharma Pathak

vaibhavis@dubeat.com




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