Bailey Boyd, EE2
As most of us know, the Ole Miss vs. Memphis game on Oct. 17 didn’t exactly turn out as planned. Although my heart was a bit broken for the Rebels, I thankfully had a fun experience the night before that took my mind off the loss.
Back in August, my Early Entry class received an email from our advisor, Seph Anderson. Instead of the usual, “Good luck on your next big, scary test,” email we tend to get, this one was a bit more exciting. Seph planned out a fun-filled weekend for our class to enjoy in mid-October. He told us about this new place called Memphis Escape Rooms, and that we could all travel to Memphis Friday night and try it out before attending the game Saturday. The “Pham” (pharmacy family) all talked it out and decided the trip sounded like a good way to take a break and hang out with each other outside of school, so we said yes!
Finally, October arrived and we had all been drowning in schoolwork. Test after test, lab report after lab report… it was time for some fun. Friday afternoon, as soon as genetics class dismissed, we all hopped in our cars and hit the road. We were so glad to finally get out of Oxford and take our minds off of grades for the weekend. Most of all, we were curious as to what exactly we would be doing in an escape room. I know it sounds pretty self-explanatory, and it was, but just the thought of going to a new place in downtown Memphis where your main goal was to simply “escape,” sounded a bit interesting.
The travel wasn’t bad and we made it to Memphis with ease. We all gathered in the lobby of Memphis Escape Rooms around 6 p.m. and discussed all the possibilities of what we were about to encounter. The manager entered the lobby and escorted us back into a briefing room to finally settle our thoughts. Our group had six people and our room was called “The Mayflower.” Before locking us in the room, they told us a backstory about a serial killer who coined the name “Mayflower Killer” because he left a ship-in-a-bottle at each of his murder scenes. Our job was to find clues that would give us information on the killer, how many victims he had, and ultimately escape from his apartment.
They led us into the room and started the clock. We had one hour to escape. Immediately we all started lifting, opening and moving everything we saw in the room. One clue led to something that led to something else and so on. The clues were surprisingly tough too. For example, one key that was found turned on a black light. While the black light was on, multiple things were written on the walls and ceiling, but something was also written on the curtains: 30° – 90°. We thought for a bit, then looked on the bookshelf and happened to find an atlas. We used longitude and latitude with the numbers and saw that it pinpointed the city of New Orleans. We used “New Orleans” as a password for another clue and it worked! That’s just one of the many (and I do mean many) riddles we had to solve. Luckily, we finally made it out of the room with only 8 minutes left. Although this wasn’t quick enough to land our “Pham” on the leaderboard, we are still proud of it!
All in all, the weekend was definitely worth the trip (aside from the Rebels losing). We had a wonderful time hanging out, not worrying about grades and putting our wit to the test! I strongly advise everyone to branch out of their comfort zones, and attend any extracurricular trips that might be planned in the future. You will make lasting friends as well as memories. I know I did!