I Did Wordle Every Morning for a Week


Samantha Phan

Photo by Sincerely Media from Unsplash

For me, this quarter has been the death of my morning routine.

Gone are the days when I wake up early, stretch, and eat a healthy breakfast. No more fun skincare routine, morning walks, or picking out a cute outfit. In all honesty, I don’t even get dressed anymore. The long three-week winter break, combined with four more weeks of online school, has replaced my once relaxing habits with waking up at nine and going on my phone for an hour before class. My days are spent mostly the same: a foggy haze of homework, eating, and sleeping, all in my small UC San Diego dorm room. 

But it was in this dorm room that I found a beacon of hope. I was in bed, scrolling through TikTok, as I seemed to be doing constantly when I saw a video of someone playing an online game. It wasn’t super fancy with crazy graphics or anything like that. It just sort of looked like 2048 with letters. After observing, I realized that I had missed the punchline of the joke and had to rewatch the video to understand. 

That seemed to be my mistake. By the next day, my For You page was covered in TikToks about this silly little word puzzle. It was called “Wordle”, and the rules were simple you try to guess a five-letter word in six tries. Each attempt must be a real word, the result telling you whether the letters you used are in the final word and if they are in the right place. 

Because I was on Wordle TikTok, I figured that I might as well try the game once. I put in my first word, and before I knew it I had guessed the answer in three tries. And even though this simple puzzle only took me a few minutes at most, I was filled with an odd sense of pride. Pride that you usually shouldn’t be able to have from guessing a five-letter word correctly. 

After that first try, I became addicted. The first thing that I did every morning was a Wordle, and while looking at my phone so early in my day may cause some issues later in life/down the road, I really was enjoying myself. Besides, it wasn’t as if I had spent the last four weeks doing anything different. I was having fun comparing my Wordle scores to my family, friends, and even random people on TikTok. Each correct guess gave me a flash of enthusiasm and a strange sense of confidence. That enthusiasm was what helped me get out of bed and eat some breakfast. That confidence helped me get dressed in the morning. Easy, uncomplicated tasks that had somehow become more and more difficult as the quarter went on. I suddenly saw the appeal of a daily crossword puzzle. 

I feel the need to put a disclaimer here: Wordle is probably not going to cure your depression. I still don’t leave my room super often and I spend more time looking at a screen than not. There are still times when I just lay in bed staring at my phone. Playing this game for a week has not drastically changed my life.

And yet, every time I think about doing my daily Wordle, there’s a feeling that jumbles itself in my chest and absorbs itself in my cheeks, forcing me to smile. It may not be life-altering, but it is fun, challenging enough that in guessing the word you feel a sense of completion, but not so much that you fear that you’ll never guess the word. And, even if you don’t, there’s always tomorrow. I guess that’s why I’ve learned to love Wordle so much. It reminds me that even if today sucks, tomorrow might be something different. 

The return to online school has been hard for us all. And while last week was the first time some of us had classes in person, others are going to remain online for the rest of the quarter. I, personally, have only one class that is going back in person. So yeah, this small silly little word puzzle is the highlight of my day. I suggest you try it out. And even if you don’t like it, look for something else that you can do. Find that small little piece of joy in your life and experience it. 

Here are my Wordle stats for those interested: