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The joys & struggles of early onset Grandma Syndrome We'd rather bake cookies and watch reruns of Law & Order than hit the town. Get off our backs already.

Picture a “normal” twenty-one year old — finally of legal drinking age, probably in college or living alone, has the freedom to do basically whatever the hell they want. Whether they’re in a state school that literally throws ragers every night of the week or even opted out of school to explore, chances are, when you’re in your 20s, you’re probably partying at least once a week.

Well, that is, unless you have Grandma Syndrome.

A friend of mine actually brought the concept up to me and a light bulb immediately lit up in my head. She basically described my entire life with those two words. Also in her twenties, we bonded over the idea of staying at home baking cookies, cuddling with our dogs, and watching reruns of Law & Order rather than hitting the town, drinking until our livers can’t take anymore, and having to put a bra on.

Maybe it’s because I’ve never been one to drink , but I actually don’t really enjoy interacting with people that I couldn’t care less about. I hate the idea of going to the bar and seeing people I haven’t seen since high school and pretending I give a shit about what they’re doing with their lives (harsh, I know, but we’re all thinking it, right?). I hate paying $12 for a drink when I could spend that $12 on about three pints of Ben and Jerry’s. I hate having to get dressed up in skimpy little dresses and heels when I’d rather be home on my couch — sweatpants, hair tie, chillin’ with no makeup on.

As an adult, life is so damn tiring. You wake up, rush to get ready for work, spend the entire day working at a job that probably doesn’t pay enough, come home, cook dinner, wash the dishes, shower, and it’s time to go to bed only to wake up in the morning and do it all over again. Even if you’re only working five days a week, most of the time your days off are busier and more stressful that your days on since you have to catch up on all the things you didn’t have time to do during your work week. The idea of using that valuable chill time to go out and spend more money that I don’t have when I could be at home unwinding from the week is out of the question.

Not to mention if you’re a student on top of that. You have your job (probably more than on if you plan on paying off your student loans in the next century), you have to tend to your home/friends/family, and you have all the homework and classes, too. There’s no way in hell I’m staying out until the crack of dawn getting smashed when I could be catching up on sleep that I missed out on throughout the week.

The worst part of this is that I’m constantly trying to make up lies to tell me friends when they call me and ask if I want to go out. I’m constantly pulling out the “too much homework,” “already in bed,” or “have to get up early in the morning” cards, and I’m running out of ideas. But that’s the thing: I shouldn’t have to lie — it’s exhausting! I should be able to tell my friends, “Hell no, I don’t want to go out,” and that shouldn’t upset them.

Yes, I’ll be the first to admit it: I’m a party pooper. On the rare occasion my friends do drag me out of the house, I get there, hang out for twenty minutes, and am ready to go back home. Because of this and the fact that it’s a serious struggle for my friends to talk me into leaving my dogs to go out, my friends are constantly begging me to go out with them, calling me lazy, telling me I’m no fun and, guess what, friends? I know, and I truly don’t give a damn!

This is Grandma Syndrome. When you’re someone who has this syndrome, you’re probably also constantly being called all sorts of synonyms for “party pooper.” But I’m fine with that if it means catching up on my TV shows and drowning in a box of Cheez-Its. Go ahead and call me a party pooper. I’m sick of having to apologize to my friends for not wanting to go out. There’s absolutely no reason that you should have to say sorry for wanting to relax at home and try to feel like a human again since you’ve been a zombie all week long.

All in all, everyone is different. Just because I’m not the type of twenty-one-year-old who wants to be nocturnal on a Friday night and spend the entire next day sweaty and hungover doesn’t mean that there’s something wrong with me. A wise friend once said to me, “Stop checking for grays, keep watching Grey’s.”

Well, that’s exactly what I’ll be doing, and you can judge me all you want.

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