What Escape Rooms Have Taught Me About Life

by Linda Budzinski

I may have mentioned previously on this blog that I’m a big fan of escape rooms. I adore all kinds of puzzles, and my favorite games are almost always cooperative activities, where everyone works together to win rather than competing against one another. Escape rooms combine both puzzles and cooperation … what could be better?

I’ve tried out several escape rooms and even recently created one for my church youth group, and in addition to providing hours of fun (and sometimes frustration), they’ve taught me a few things about how to approach life out here in the real world:

If one thing’s not working, try something else. It’s easy to convince yourself that your solution to a problem is the one-and-only perfect solution. But sometimes, no matter how many times you do the math, your solution will NOT open the freaking combination. Unless you want that bomb to go off and yourself and all your friends to die, maybe just maybe you should accept that it’s time to try something different. As they say, one definition of insanity is trying the same thing over and over and expecting different results.

Don’t overthink everything. I tend to be a big overthinker, worrying about every little thing. Pretty sure it’s because I’m a Virgo. But often the solution to your problem is right in front of you. Things really ARE as they appear. You just need to take a deep breath and trust yourself and trust your gut.

Two (or three or four or eight) minds are better than one. I’m always a little worried when I go to an escape room that everyone else is going to figure out all the puzzles before me and I won’t get to experience those “aha” moments that make solving so fun. But it always turns out that solving them as a group, figuring out little pieces and putting those pieces together, makes the “aha” moment even more rewarding. Different people bring different perspectives, and that’s a good thing. Especially when a bomb is about to go off.

‘Tis better to have tried and lost than never to have tried at all. You win some, you lose some, as my husband and I have learned. Sometimes you walk away with all the cash, and sometimes you … well, you suck.

And that’s okay. Sometimes trying, having fun, and working together, win or lose, is worth more than the end result.

Teens are super smart. Okay, I already knew that, but man, did I relearn it this week. As I mentioned, I constructed an escape room for our youth group. The puzzles had, I thought, the perfect mix of difficulty, misdirection, and fun. When I tried them out on some of my adult friends, they struggled and stumbled in all the right places before figuring them out. The teens? ESCAPED IN FOUR MINUTES. I still have no idea how that happened. They are brilliant, y’all. Next time you go to an escape room, think about taking a teen!

Have you ever done an escape room? What did you think? What did it teach you?

6 thoughts on “What Escape Rooms Have Taught Me About Life

  1. This is so great! I did an escape room last year with my coworkers and we “escaped” five seconds after time ran out.

    I learned that the people you assume will lead you to victory can easily be your downfall if you follow them blindly.

  2. Love your perspectives Linda, and yes, escape rooms teach you a lot about the people you’re in there with. I found out just how competitive my family can be, vying to be the first to read the clues and jump to the solution. How funny when those stragglers actually figured it out! And yes, go with a teen! Their minds are lightspeeds faster than ours.

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