Staff ed: The Tides have turned

Washington University, we need to talk. We know some things are being said on social media. We know a lot of people are trying to convince you. And we know it’s hard to resist. But please, don’t eat Tide pods. If you’re a parent or alumnae reading this, you might be thinking, “Did I read that right? Are people really eating the soap I use in my laundry machine everyday?” The sad but true answer is, surprisingly, yes. And while we hope none of our bright, young students would take part in such a disturbing online phenomenon, here are the Student Life Editorial Board’s suggestions for ways to distract yourself from the enticing pictures and start the year off on the right foot. New year, new you, no new Tide pods.

Read a book for pleasure: I spend a lot of time reading and writing throughout the semester. But required course texts and newspaper articles make up the bulk of my reading time—and I know other students also struggle to make time for pleasure reading. My challenge: Find a novel (or another nonrequired text) and read that on your study break instead of watching yet another episode of “The Office.”
— Ella Chochrek, Editor-in-Chief

Eat vegetables instead of Tide pods: Why have people been eating Tide pods, anyway? Other than blatant stupidity, there are some enticing factors at play, as even Senator Chuck Schumer admits: They’re brightly colored, with an attractive design. Rather than popping literally poisonous Tide pods—or candy, the unhealthy snack they most closely resemble—try to “taste the rainbow” of a different kind: fruits and vegetables! They’re nutritious, delicious and full of rich colors and flavors sure to satisfy your Tide pod cravings. Plus, you’ll make Connie happy.
— Hanusia Higgins, Senior Scene Editor
Turn off your electronics before bed. It’s easy to use electronics to relax at night before turning in, but winding down on a screen can be a total time suck and make it hard to fall asleep. There’s nothing worse than deliberately going to bed early to catch up on sleep, only to end up staying awake for about the same time while lying on your bed and using your phone. Instead, try using that time to read a book, mentally plan for the following day or decompress some other way before hitting the hay. Your brain will thank you for it.
— Elizabeth Grossman, Copy Chief

Unless you want to pull a hammy picking up laundry, consider participating in the stretching challenge. Between winter’s chill and long lectures, your body is probably stiff as a board. Take five minutes every morning to reach high to sky and low to the floor. Like a good pair of jeans that just need to be worn in, you’ll be much more comfortable throughout the day if you give your body some room to move.
— Aaron Brezel, Managing Editor

Hey, fellow @teens: Why not try the #ThankYour ParentsChallenge? What Happens Next Shouldn’t Shock You! Call, text or subtweet the people who posted you into this world and pull out the receipts on how much you heart-emoji them. It will take as long as a Vine and is the literal least you could do for “those hoes” who probably Apple Pay your cellphone bill! Plus, if you Snap a pic on the ‘Gram to show how #woke their cooking is, it will assure the rest of us that you’re not eating Tide pods.
— Jeremy Goldstein, Copy Chief

If you’re sitting around on a Saturday night, bored, staring lustfully at those shiny, thick, brightly colored pods just thinking about how hungry you are, consider doing your laundry. The way I see it, if you change clothes at the rate of a normal person, there’s never a time when you don’t have something you could be washing. Put those Tide pods to good use (ahem, their intended use), swipe that Bear Bucks card and throw some clothes in the one fully functional and empty washer in your dorm.
— Aidan Strassmann, Senior Forum Editor

Here’s a challenge for you: eat breakfast. I used to live in the darkness. I woke up 30 minutes before my first class and got out the door as soon as I could. I would then spend most of my first class thinking about lunch. But then, I saw the light! If I just woke up 15 minutes earlier, I could have some breakfast! Now, I am a devoted breakfast eater, and I encourage you to become one as well. It doesn’t even have to be a full meal! Put some peanut butter on some toast! Eat a plain bagel without slicing it as you speed walk to class in a panic! Just eat something at the beginning of the day. You will feel better.
— Jon Lewis, Senior Sports Editor

If you’re trying to avoid eating your extra Tide pods, you’ll probably need to find something to do with them. So, go to the gym, work up a sweat, give your clothes a good stink, then toss them in the washing machine! It’s the perfect time, too. It’s early in the semester—so, you don’t have too much going on yet. And the weather isn’t exactly predictable. So, if you’re going to be mostly trapped indoors, why not be out on the courts instead of Netflixing?
— Rohan Gupta, Senior Sports Editor

Here’s a great use for your Tide pods: the-Give-Ali-Your-Pods-Challenge. Just before writing this, I walked down to the laundry room, put my laundry in the machine, and came back upstairs. Once I sat down and realized this article was about pods, I also realized that I forgot to buy more pods over break. So, send yours my way and save me a Target run. Please.
— Ali Gold, Senior Cadenza Editor