My Reaction To “The Millennial Pledge”

My Reaction To "The Millennial Pledge"

People love complaining about the “millennial” generation. We’re lazy, they say. We’re entitled, they say. We show no appreciation, they say. We go on hearing these things while maintaining our own personal lives, all while trying to make it in a world that seemingly just wants to shit on us rather than go to battle with us.

The LA Times published “Millennials, you literally cannot call yourselves adults until you take this pledge” and it’s a perfect example of the pot calling the kettle black. The author, Chris Erskine, penned a lazy “millennial”-style list of petty and unfounded generalizations about adults between the ages of 18-34.

Naturally, I had to put this under a microscope. And per usual, the original text is in bold.

* * *

I am entitled to nothing.

I’m a 28-year-old “millennial” and I can’t name one of my friends that works less than 50 hours per week, and I know I’m not the only one out there.

I will show up on time.

Timeliness is next to godliness. Whether it’s an Uber, a tee time, or a reservation, we’re on time and ready to get after it. And by “on time,” I mean we’re at least ten minutes early.

I will not shun comedians or college commencement speakers just because I don’t agree with them.

If someone is educated enough to get their college degree, they’re educated enough to criticize any comedian or commencement speaker thrown their way. They’ve earned it.

Just once, I will try driving without texting.

We’re not teenagers with driving permits. I’m not saying it’s safe or smart, but everyone checks their fucking phones when they’re driving. People above the age of 34 included.

Just once, I will try eating without texting.

It’s called a “Technology Timeout” and everyone is cognizant of them. It can’t just be my clique that shames people for constantly being on their phone at the table.

I will not consider the cilantro on my taco to be a vegetable.

Cilantro is a fucking vegetable, Chris.

I will learn to laugh at everything, especially myself.

You’re right, everyone between the ages of 18-34 has zero sense of humor. Especially when reading a column where the writer shits on and generalizes an entire generation.

When meeting someone for the first time, I will always look him or her in the eye.

Do you have kids, Chris? If so, you must hate them and/or their friends. I pride myself on having a beast-mode handshake paired with a “Glad to meet ya.”

I will not burn bridges.

You’re right, only people born after 1980 tarnish relationships and end things badly. How dare us, man. How dare us.

I will not burn overpasses.

Good one. Because like, bridges are similar to overpasses. Knee Slap City.

Each year, I will pen at least one thank-you note, using what’s left of my cursive writing skills.

Explain to me why in 2015 I need to use cursive handwriting and I’ll write you a thank you note for coming up with the biggest bullshit lie I’ve ever seen.

I will be resourceful, creative and authentic.

You’re right — If this generation is known for one thing, it’s for us being unresourceful, uncreative, and inauthentic. Kind of like how we only “write” lists on the internet unlike real journalists.

Oh, wait.

I will vote. Always.

I’ve never missed an election. But can you ask your generation to provide us with some worthy candidates? Thanks.

I will (mostly) swear off smut.

Would love to see your internet history. I’m sure it’s all longreads and box scores and you wouldn’t sweat a little the second I type “P-O” into your address bar.

I will not be smut.

Bro, have some self-awareness and read what’s sitting on this page. This entire list is smut.

I will learn all my siblings’ names (even the younger ones).

Is this the part of this list where you’re supposed to wonder if this whole thing is a joke? Because that’s what it feels like.

I will not spend an entire weekend exploring my own mouth with a coffee straw.

You’re right, all we do is sit around drinking iced Americanos while sitting on our Macbooks.

I will learn to pick my battles.

Says the guy writing an open letter to millions of people who’ve never wronged him. Did you have a bad experience with a Starbucks barista last week? Is that why this chip on your shoulder is so evident?

When I don’t get my way, I will learn to roll with it.

Read this for me one time. One time.

I will not go on a job interview in shorts and flip-flops, even if “this job is so beneath me.”

We’re young, dude. If anything, we’re on the forefront of fashion compared to your pleated relaxed-fit Dockers-wearing ass. I’m not trying to say wearing flip-flops to an interview is the move, but we’re living in an untraditional world.

Nothing is beneath me.

Yeah, nothing is beneath me, but I’m also not going to sacrifice monetary gain in exchange for my skillset. If you think I’m going to be taken advantage of, think again.

I promise not to misuse the word “literally.” As in “I am literally dying of hunger” or “You are literally being so rude.”

“Shit Girls Say” was funny like two years ago.

If my first-born is a boy, I promise not to name him Uber.

If this is your desperate attempt to seem relevant by showing us you know what a go-to app is, congrats. But no one names their kids that shit unless they’re high and mighty celebrities like Kanye West or Gwyneth Paltrow.

When I finally move out of my parents’ home, I will not take all their vodka and half their towels.

No one steals their parents alcohol after high school, man.

I will not use crowd-funding to pay for my first car.

The only thing our generation uses crowd-funding for is their stupid start-ups that aren’t good enough to get into one of those dumb-ass start-up incubators. Find me someone my age who was idiotic enough to contribute to a “first car crowd-funding” effort and I’ll pay for your next tank of gas.

If I can’t afford car insurance, I won’t spend $20 a day on coffee.

A cup of coffee is $2.00, dude. Sure, if you drive without insurance, you deserve to be criticized. But assuming we’re ignorant enough to spend money on coffee instead of insurance is just an unfounded generalization (much like this entire list).

I won’t give only gift cards for Christmas.

I’ll stop giving gift cards when I stop receiving cards with a dollar bill included in them, which is the gold standard “old person” move. Apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.

I won’t sneak texts during funerals even if it’s “totally boring and the dead guy is just lying there anyway.”

The fact that you came up with that mock text shows how distant and separated you are from the “millennial” generation. I’ve never even brought a cell phone into a funeral because I’m not a disrespectful asshole.

A wedding though? Different story. I needed that Tigers-Indians score.

At holiday dinners, I will leave my phone in my room.

Yeah, sure, because Heaven forbid I get any photos of our family having a good time together. I wouldn’t want to capture any fond memories, would I?

All those T-shirts? I will wash them.

Who are you? Who do you hang out with? I can’t go to work without showering and I haven’t re-worn a dirty shirt since I was about 12 when I was obsessed with a muscle fit Abercrombie shirt that my parents gave me for Christmas.

I will not use pepper spray to season a burrito.

I don’t even know what this means. This was such an obscure criticism that I can’t fathom anyone even laughed at it.

I will not run up my credit cards.

How much did you owe in student loans before you started at the LA Times? Oh, nothing because you graduated before the price of education escalated? Alright, awesome. Don’t tell us how to spend our money.

I will save 10% of everything I earn.

DM me your financials so I can see how responsible you’ve been since you were my age. I want to see your balanced budget, Mitt Romney.

If I hate my new job, I will not fake my own death. I will give a full two weeks’ notice like grown-ups usually do.

It’s insulting that you think we’re disrespectful enough to not put in a two weeks notice (which is often times poo-poo’d by the employer anyway). And don’t tout the actions of “grown-ups” while simultaneously starting a petty beef with your younger readership. Real class act, that Chris Erskine.

I will force myself to finally make a phone call.

I call my mom more than she calls me, Chris. But you seem like the type of guy who also asks people to “ping” you, so I’m just going to move on.

In high school or college, I will get a part-time job. Even if it’s beneath me.

I worked as a waiter at two different restaurants, and I started my last job scrubbing the floors of a basement before making my way up. I don’t know why you’re so hung up on things being “beneath” us, but if you want us to put in some hard work the benefits us, rip employers who only offer unpaid internships and require five years of experience for entry-level jobs.

Again, nothing is beneath me.

Just stop, dude.

Well, most things are not beneath me.

Fuck you.

I promise not to text anything of life-changing significance: a marriage proposal, a divorce decree, a positive result.

No one does this. My sister called me with important news during dinner the other night and I excused myself so I could call her back. But by your rules, I shouldn’t have had my phone with me at the table anyway so I’m kind of confused with how to act now.

When I get my way, I will be grateful and not assume that I will always get my way.

“When I don’t get my way, I won’t write a 700-word column complaining and pinning things on a bunch of postgrads.”

I will always remember Aristotle’s quote: “It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.”

Inserting a quote about acceptance into a column that’s unaccepting of an entire generation. Total Chris Erskine Move.

At least once a week, I will hug my mom the way I hug my friends every single time I see them.

I’m lucky to get a fist-bump from one of my friends. Hell, normally I’m greeted with a “What’s up, fucker?” and we move on.

I will do nice things just because.

Don’t preach about being nice in the midst of writing a column that screams, “I’m a cynical asshole.”

I will live each day.

I will live each day without a chip on my shoulder attempting to skewer people with gross generalizations.

I will sleep each night.

I will sleep each night knowing that I live my life nothing like you’ve portrayed it.

I am entitled to nothing but that.

Get off your high horse, Chris. Your first line was, “I am entitled to nothing.” Can I talk to your editor?

Image via Shutterstock

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Will deFries (Twitter / Instagram) is a Senior Writer at Grandex and the world's foremost authority on Sunday Scaries (Twitter / Instagram). Email me at

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