It's a Great Day to Go to Mid(terms)

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! That’s right, it’s that beautiful part of the semester again when getting a spot at Library West becomes a game of survival of the fittest and the wails of Physics 1 students can be heard clear across campus. Isn’t it wonderful? Don’t you love being fearful of your grade? It’s so invigorating. Okay, but really, we all know that midterms suck. It’s an unfortunate part of university life, especially if you’ve spent a good portion of said university life at Midtown rather than Turlington lecture. Even for the best student, though, midterm season can be stressful and overwhelming. Finding tricks to reduce that stress is critical. Below is a list of four things I use to keep my head on my shoulders during this trying time. Hopefully, they’ll help you too.

photo from Unsplash

Find Your Study Space

Y’all, it’s time to get out of the dorm. Theoretically, studying at home is a good idea. You can control the space and it's where you’re most comfortable. However, spending one more night hunched over your faux-wood desk in a plastic seat trying to study by the dim light of the desk lamp you bought from Ikea isn’t going to help much. Finding your ideal study space is a way to be more productive and feel better at the same time. This can take many forms, the most obvious of which is a library. Heads up: we have more than Library West and Marston on campus. Love Harry Potter? Smathers has your back. Maybe you want to make your work feel more official? Go to the law library. If a library doesn’t work for you, that’s okay. I have a friend that takes up residence in an empty Turlington classroom every midterm and finals season. She swears by it. Personally, I enjoy working outside, particularly if it's a nice day outside. Murphree Area has a fantastic courtyard to work in, and places like Depot Park provide a change of environment without getting too far off campus.

Time Out

I’m serious about getting out of the dorm or apartment. It can be a good place to be, but it can also be isolating. It’s beneficial to relocate -- and not just for studying. Taking time for yourself is a great way to manage stress. You don’t have to go and get lost in the wilderness an hour away and become one with nature; in fact, you don’t even have to leave campus. UF provides plenty of opportunities to give your mind a break. For example, the Reitz offers leisure courses. These classes give students an opportunity to learn a new skill, like learning how to make pasta from scratch, without having to worry about a grade. If you do want to get off campus, Gainesville has numerous opportunities to get away from the pressure of academic life. Free yoga is offered in Bo Diddley Plaza every Tuesday and Thursday, from six to seven in the evening. There’s also multiple nature trails throughout town, if you actually do want to get lost in the woods. Whatever you choose, just rest assured that you are helping yourself in the long run.

Keep Everything in Context

Do you remember that science test you had in high school, the one you were super nervous for and were scared to death of failing? Yeah, me neither. Turns out, we’ve had a lot of exams up to this point in life. At the time, each test seemed like a crucial moment in our life -- our destiny was dependent upon that. Looking back, though, we don’t really remember every single test. Believe it or not, college is like that too. It’s important to us now, and will not significantly impact the rest of our lives. Midterms are simply an obstacle on the road to graduation. It’s important to get through, but not life altering. If you do great, that’s fantastic! If you don’t, it’s not the end of the world. There is always a chance at redemption. Years down the road, you’ll barely remember the two hours spent in Carleton Auditorium. It is in your life, but it is not your whole life.

Play Tetris

This is a metaphor. I don’t actually mean play the video game, just hear me out. Life is a game of Tetris. School work is an L block, sleep is an I block, socializing is a on and so forth. If you don’t line things up correctly, it builds up. Eventually, they reach the top of the screen and you get overwhelmed. However, if all the pieces are assembled correctly, the line goes down, and so does your stress level. I try to make the pieces fit together by writing everything I need or want to do down. I prefer my planner, but that is an extremely recent development. Like, last semester recent. It doesn’t even have to be organized by date or time. Just writing it down with a pen and piece of printer paper can help keep you on track. Plus, crossing stuff off is ridiculously satisfying. I’ll be honest--sometimes I’ll finish a task just so I can cross it off. If the digital environment is more your speed, programs like Google Calendar can help. Obviously, this is easier said than done, but give it a try. Maybe writing down your assignment will keep you from another night of eating Ben and Jerry’s straight out of the pint.

Take a deep breath. It’s all going to work out. Good luck, and I’ll see you on the other side.

The Forum performs new single "When Did Everything Fade?" live in the studio

Getting older, moving away, and growing apart has the Gainesville, indie band asking, when did everything fade? Their new single encompasses the hardships the band has encountered in transitioning from adolescence into adulthood. It'll have you crying and vibing at the same time.
The Forum, comprised of Michael Higgins (vocals), Jacob Farrell (bass), Nick Wheeler (guitar), and Ethan Klohr (drums) joined us in the GHQ studio for an interview with our own Rachel Willis, as well as a heartfelt, exclusive, acoustic performance.

Shot and edited by Brittany Lewis.

"When Did Everything Fade?" was dropped as a double single along with "Wounds." You can listen to both tunes on Spotify, and follow the band on Instagram and Twitter.

No Southern Accent Performs New Single Live in Studio

The local a cappella group No Southern Accent dropped their third studio album, Permanent Address, in October.  They stopped by the GHQ studio shortly after its release to perform the song “Home” live on air for us. We also interviewed the president, Maddie Crowley, and the communications director/arranger, Myles Lopez. 

Moby Rich talks evolution from Open Mic to Main Stage

Moby Rich is changing the world of pop, one self-deprecating joke at a time. The songwriting-producing duo was recently signed to Universal's Republic Records, and are now smack-dab in the middle of their US tour.

GHQ's Allison Barkdull and Fede Psevoznik sat down with them earlier this week to talk their songwriting process, their beginnings, and their musical and meme inspirations. Check out the interview in full below!

Quality Control Music's Layton Greene Talks Struggle and Success

At 20 years old, Layton Greene has seen more than her fair share of adversity. Today, she’s converted that struggle into success. Greene is one of the newest signees to Quality Control Music, the Atlanta-based label behind Migos, Lil Baby and Lil Yachty. The Illinois native is the first R&B artist to the label and has since dropped her first EP, “Tell Ya Story,” in September. Greene opens up about her childhood hardships, success on social media and reactions to being signed to QC during her interview with GHQ’s Angel Kennedy.

Post Malone's Voodoo Festival Performance

POSTY POSTY POSTY... The chants of the crowd kept on for minutes as Voodoo Festival goers awaited Post Malone’s set in City Park, New Orleans. Everyone from college students, high school kids, and married couples ran forward to greet Posty and get close to the action on stage. The crowd of friends who had been attending this three-day festival were chanting as the clock turned 7:30 pm.

Phones raised up to greet Post Malone taking the stage in fiery red plaid pants, a slew of face tats, and an accompaniment by flashing lights and fireworks. The crowds came to see a rockstar and Post did not disappoint. His hit songs were many and he started his set with the song “Wow.” The bass rocked the little swampy festival and the people in the crowd were up and moving or video taping the moment because it was so unforgettable. 

Posty, in the tried and true rockstar fashion, admitted while on stage that he had just got done playing beer pong. He requested that everyone sing as loud as they could to help him with remembering the lyrics to his acoustic set -- it was heartfelt, especially after he had finished chugging whatever was in his blue plastic cup.

I, as your friendly GHQ reporter, found myself choking up to the sincerity in Post’s songs he sang. Post knew how to groove and the crowd followed; strangers were moving together to his beat. Post hit high highs and sentimental lows in his set; he reminded me of the band the Eagles a bit. His rock rocked, practically setting the stage on fire, but when Post wanted to talk about something like the love his fans give him or if he wanted to sing about it, then he laid down easy listening with a peaceful feel.

Post Malone will continue his tour in the USA until Nov 21, with stops in California, Texas, Colorado, Arizona, and Utah. 

Rex Orange County's 'Pony' Album Review

Rex has done it again, people. The British singer-songwriter just debuted his third album today, and honestly, I can't get enough.

Pony captures Rex's growth in a way that still maintains his musical style. It's fresh, while still Rex. The album starts off with one of the singles, "10/10". I would say this was the most he's branched out musically so far, with synth beats and drums keeping the pace of the song.

The first lyrics are, "I had a think about my oldest friends. Now, I no longer hang with them." The fact that this album starts right off with self reflection says a lot when comparing that to his previous two albums. His second album, Apricot Princess, began with about a minute of all-consuming strings, and then the words, "You can never do wrong, it's me that makes the evening long."

Pony centered strongly around the theme of mental health, and Rex's own battle with it. I found metaphors of that battle not only in the lyrics, but also the music. "10/10" begins with a heavy electronic sound (very unlike him), and the album slowly crescendos into a beautiful, strings-heavy ballad called "It Gets Better." The album follows his headspace and how his thoughts changed as he got more and more help for his issues, and the instrumentals mirrored that.

Another one of my favorite songs off the album was "Never Had The Balls." It follows a common theme of talking about serious topics with upbeat melodies behind them in order to form mini dichotomies.

If you loved Rex's previous albums, expect more of the same personal storytelling, but with more transparency than ever before. While Apricot Princess and Bcos U Will Never B Free featured epithets of his life and love, Pony dives straight into his subconscious.

Listening to Pony felt like a privilege to hear his inner thoughts. He voiced thoughts many people aren't willing to even face; with everything from losing childhood friends in "Face To Face" to being taken advantage of in "Stressed Out."

Pony reminds listeners that it's crucial to ask for help when you need it, and that life is all about continuing to try.

Being an avid fan of Apricot Princess, I was anticipating the end of Pony to end on the same haunting note that that one did. But the final song on Pony, "It's Not The Same Anymore," ends on a hopeful note. And I like that.

Like his other albums, Pony begs at least three listens to fully absorb the magic in its message.

If you're looking for new music this weekend, I highly recommend Pony. It'll leave you wanting more.

Dance Marathon at UF's Transform Today

Dance Marathon at UF is probably one of the most well-known events on campus. And "Transform Today" is also probably their most well known fundraising effort. I got the chance to interview two Dance Marathon people on-air today, and here's how it went.

From left to right: Megan Freedman, Public Relations Overall, and Morgan Hill, Marketing Manager

Listen to the interview here.

Or, read the interview below:

Julia: Good morning! I am here today with some very special guests. We have people from Dance Marathon, Morgan Hill the marketing manager and Megan Freedman the public relations overall. So they're going to talk today about what Transform Today is, what Dance Marathon is; the whole thing. So, what is Dance Marathon for people who don't know?

Megan: Dance Marathon at UF is a student-run philanthropy, and we try to raise funds and awareness for the pediatric patients at UF Health Shands Children's Hospital. It's Gainesville's local Miracle Network Hospital. So, DM at UF has year-long efforts eventually culminating in our main 26.2 hour event in March where over 800 students stand as dancers and remain awake and on their feet for that whole 26.2 hours to symbolize fighting for the hardships that these families face every day.

Julia: Nice! And then, what is Transform Today specifically?

Morgan: So each fall we have a big fundraising push called Transform Today, and it's also 26.2 hours like our main event. So it started at 8 a.m. this morning and it goes till 10:12 a.m. tomorrow. And every member of our movement, from captains and leaders to dancers and ambassadors spread all across the UF campus and community to spread our cause. Hopefully we'll raise $650,000.

Julia: Is that your goal because it was that last year, is that your goal every year?

Morgan: Last year our goal was $600,000, and we raised $626,000, so this year our goal is $650,000.

Julia: And then what are the different activities happening where people can donate?

Morgan: So to donate, you can either donate on, or if you know a specific person you'd like to donate to, then you can search their name and find their individual fundraising page. Or, you can just donate in general. There are also students in polos canning all across campus at Plaza of the Americas, Broward Dining, Reitz Breezway, Gator Dining, and that's it actually. And then you can also visit our hospitality nights at Hurricane BTW, Bento, and Chick-fil-A by The Standard.

Julia: Nice, nice. And at hospitality nights what do you have to do?

Megan: You just say that you're for DM at UF, and a portion of the proceeds from your meal will go to our Transform Today fundraising total. So it's super easy.

Julia: And then it lasts for 26.2 hours, you said? So, that's all happening today, and then tomorrow you guys are canning again. How does it all culminate?

Megan: It goes until 10:12 a.m. tomorrow, so we'll have breakfast at Plaza of the Americas at 9:30 a.m. and we'll count down to the end of Transform Today from about 10 to 10:12 a.m. Tomorrow night, actually, at 5 p.m., we have our Halloween event. It's where a bunch of our miracle families will come to celebrate Halloween with us, and there are so many fun activities, from food, to haunted houses, and more fun stuff. And at 6:30 p.m. will be our Transform Today fundraising total reveal.

Morgan: Moralloween is at Flavet Field, by the way.

Julia: Cool! When did you guys first get involved with Dance Marathon? What drove you to it and everything?

Morgan: I actually got involved with Dance Marathon when I was in high school. Some students from UF came down and presented at my high school and my best friend and I actually started a mini marathon, which is the version of the Dance Marathon at a high school. I did that my junior and senior year at my high school, and when I came to UF I was an emerging leader, then a captain, and an assistant director for the public relations team. Now here I am in my senior year.

Julia: Aw, nice.

Megan: I actually didn't know about Dance Marathon until I came to college. I danced my freshman year, which was such an amazing experience. From then on, I knew I wanted to get more involved throughout the years so I applied to be a public relations captain my sophomore year, and then I was assistant director for PR last year. This year I'm the overall director for public relations. It's been an amazing four years, and I'm so excited for today.

Julia: I love that. And then, just one more quick question. What's the most impactful experience you guys have had with DM?

Megan: I think it's just every moment we get to spend with our miracle families. They're just the most inspiring, resilient people I've ever met. They're all so unique and have such incredible stories to share. And yet through their hardships they're so positive and have so much hope and joy. It just really makes you take a look at your life and just want to give back more.

Julia: I really love that. So, to recap, Dance Marathon's Transform Today is happening, and anytime you see someone in a polo with a can you can donate. Or, you can go to Bento...

Morgan: Chick-fil-A, or Hurricane BTW by The Standard.

Julia: Yup! And when is the actual Dance Marathon happening again?

Morgan: March 28th and 29th 2020.

Julia: Cool. And if you guys wanna follow them on social media, go ahead plug it.

Morgan: Our Instagram is @DMATUF , and our Facebook is .

Julia: Cool! Thank you guys so much for being here!

Morgan & Megan: Yeah, thank you!

1 Night with Dominic Fike: Concert Review

Dominic Fike

Several UF students remember a time when Dominic Fike was just the cool kid in high school. They grew up with him in Naples and watched his spot in the Florida Soundcloud scene explode into a $4 million deal with Columbia Records. Last semester GHQ chanced his track 3 Nights on-air, completely unaware it would gain insane radio traction and reach the number one spot on the alternative charts this month. 8.8 million monthly Spotify listeners later, Fike is making every Florida kid proud. 

Following a cancelled show in South Carolina due to damaged vocal chords, Fike powered through to perform in his home state at the The Orpheum in Tampa, the 11th stop on his Rain or Shine World Tour. Even if the venue weren’t standing room only, everyone would have still been on their feet. 

Dominic Fike's Rain or Shine Tour drum kit decor

Fellow Soundcloud star and Brockhampton collaborator Deb Never opened with an energy so explosive that my camera shutter could not keep up as she grunge-galloped from one end of the stage to another during Swimming off her new EP. When it came time to catch her breath, she settled down on a barstool with her guitar to surprise the audience with a stripped version of Brockhampton’s No Halo which features her delicate vocals on its chorus. 

Deb Never performing a stripped version of Brockhamton's No Halo.

With his bleached blonde buzzcut, face and hand tattoos, and occasional auto-tune use, Fike resembled a typical Soundcloud rapper upon first glance, but he could not be any further from that label. Shredding on a clean white Fender, sporting a vintage Red Hot Chili Peppers tee, skinny jeans, leather boots, he proved to be more so a rockstar with gritty, rugged vocals to match. 

The first high-pitched note of Phone Numbers sent him and the crowd into a fired up frenzy that burned all the way through the wild Westcoast Collective finale. He brought the room of devoted fans on a genre-crossing journey, in which they recited the speedy rap verses on Acai Bowl with ease, swayed along to Rollerblades, and rocked out to Babydoll. During a break when Fike asked where everyone was from, many exclaimed they drove hours from all over the state just to spend one hour with him. Speechless, he raised his hands above his head and curled his fingers in to form a heart, speaking gratitude for itself.

If my memory somehow got erased one day, I think I would still remember Fike’s performance of Westcoast Collective. The biographical, alt-rock track uncovers his rough past as a member of the Southwest Florida rap collective Backhouse. He poured his entire being into each electric guitar strum and let his voice wander in every direction, eventually running into a seemingly original cover of Weezer’s classic Say It Ain't So halfway through. 

Before exiting the stage with as much badass energy and finesse as possible, Fike yelled his last words “I love you Tampa”, flicked his guitar pick to a lucky front row guest to keep forever, and disappeared into the darkness. Dominic Fike might have just gotten his feet wet, but made it look like he’s been doing this his whole life, as he hopefully will. He’s expected to release a full length album by the end of this year. I’ll be counting down the minutes. 

GHQ at Gator Volleyball

Thanks for coming out to Exactech Arena before Tuesday's Gator Volleyball match against Florida State!

The Gators had a great night, shutting out the Seminoles 3-0. We always appreciate it when you stop by and see us before the match.