How to Be Extra

By Annika Kouhia | 4/11/17 7:21pm

Being extra is a way of life. It’s your own special way of living life to the fullest, the brightest, the most present way you can. Don’t ever let the haters get you down — you can never ever be too extra, and anyone who says you’re too much just isn’t enough. Always remember: If you’re not doing the most, you’re doing the least. 

1. Don’t let yourself be confined by the alphabet.


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Between texts, emails, tweets, flitzes, essays and the occasional fan mail to Phil Hanlon, you must write a lot every day. However, chances are you’re not using every resource available to you!! One cannot be as extra as possible while confining him or herself merely to the characters a, b, c, d, e, f, g, h, i, j, k, m, n, o, p, q, r, s, t, u, v, w, x, y, z*. It’s just not enough. Many years ago, some genius caveman must have said, “skrrt, these 26 letters are just not enough, let’s get a tilde or two up in here,” and all the other cavemen were like “oohhh yes, the tilde.” Thus, your new best friend the tilde was born. For those of you who are wondering what a tilde is, it is this majestic piece of punctuation ~. Tildes are perfect for every occasion! Look how they transform these previously boring sentences: 

“Hey, wanna go get some ~KAF~?” 

“Nothing better than getting up for your 9L on a ~Wednesday~”

“Thanks for the mems, but I’m ~breaking up~ with you.”

Absolutely phenomenal. What a piece of punctuation. Just wow. And there’s even more! Just as we have the tilde (~), we also have the exclamation mark (!), the hashtag (#), the dolla sign ($), the tiny hat (^) and the lone pine (|) (go big green!). Add these to your daily vocabulary, and your level of extra-ness will surely #~increa$e~.

*You may be wondering where the “L” went in the alphabet. I took it. 

2. Have your own theme song.

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If a certain song doesn’t play in people’s head the minute they see you walking toward them, you’ve done something wrong. You need to be so strongly associated with a certain song that people cannot see you without hearing it or hear it without seeing you. Word of caution, however: think carefully about which song you choose. “Closer” may be your favorite song to scream along to in the car, but do you really want people to think that you “drink too much and that’s an issue” or that you have a “mattress that you stole from your roommate back in Boulder?” Probably not. You aren’t an alcoholic. You aren’t a kleptomaniac. So think carefully. Having a theme song brings you one step closer to being the cartoon character version of yourself that embodies total extra-ness.

3. Establish an avid social media presence

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Note that I did not say establish a social media following. That’s too stressful. The presence is all that you need. Being extra is not about being liked, you’re too busy being too much to worry about that. With that said, you have to be active on all those cool social media forums the kids are on these days. This means downloading Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Yik Yak, Tinder, Spotify, Venmo, SoundCloud, Houseparty, GroupMe, LinkedIn, Club Penguin, Words with Friends, really anything that establishes human contact. I’m expecting witty bios, fun profile pictures and fantastic ratios for each of these, btw. Once you have all of these accounts set up, the most important thing is not to allow any of them to go more than 15 minutes without posting some sort of update. Now I know what you’re thinking — Annika, isn’t that obnoxious? Won’t my friends hate me? Do I even have enough to say to post updates that frequently? Well, yes, yes and no, but do it anyway! True friends will LOVE your constant updates. They WANT to know that you’re standing in line for your Collis smoothie, that you ordered your Collis smoothie, that you paid for your Collis smoothie, that you’re drinking your Collis smoothie, that it was a mediocre Collis smoothie, etc. Your life is fascinating!!! Let the general public know!

4. Never have a simple order at KAF or Collis.

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Maybe you really just want a coffee, but you can do better. Instead, try getting a large London Fog with soy milk and an ~extra~ shot of vanilla with room. You’ll keep the baristas on top of their game, and you sound so much more #extra! Similarly, at Collis, don’t just get pasta with sauce. First, load up on veggies in an array of colors — do so while talking loudly about how much you LOVE vegetables so people get that you are healthy and stuff — le duh. Then, ask for a mixture of the different pastas, because we all know that pasta isn’t just carbs, it’s art. You should be trying every type. Similarly, get some of each sauce. No point in choosing if you can have it all, right? Finally, top it all off with some ~extra~ (see what I did there?) cheese and maybe some hot sauce at the condiment bar to show that you’re sophisticated, unique, classy and (most importantly) spicy.

5. Celebrate the little things!


Tragically, we often forget to celebrate the little things in life. Your friend finds the shirt she’d been missing for a week? The anniversary of the day you finally talked to the hot guy in your earth science class (who you proceeded to fall deeply in love with before he left for three consecutive off-terms of FSPs #deathByDPlan)? Your mom finally realizing that LOL does not necessarily mean “lots of love”? All reasons to celebrate! But for some reason, all rarely celebrated #RIPinpieces. But now is the time to change that. The friend who found her shirt? Send her an e-card (not from Hallmark, though, because they make you pay a monthly fee for that ish #smh). The anniversary of talking to EARS future husband? Send yourself a muffin basket. You deserve it. And I’m sure he’ll fall in love with you too when he finally returns from New Zealand or Scotland or London or wherever he is nowadays. Your mom? First of all, send her my sincere congratulations. Major moves for the generation of our elders. Then, obviously time to celebrate you for supporting her through the trying times. May I suggest dinner at Molly’s with 20 of your closest friends?

6. Never miss a chance to wear flair!

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Is there anything more ~extra~ than showing up somewhere dressed to the nines in your wackiest of costume attire? I think not. So why wait around for an opportunity to come to you? Obviously you’re wearing your flair to Tackies and Beach Party, but don’t stop there. Seize the day and wear your flair to class, wear your flair to Foco or wear your flair on that Admissions Tour you’re giving later. Honestly, there is no reason ever to leave your dorm room without a tutu on your waist and a flash tat on your face. If you had to loudly announce yourself every time you entered a room, you would lose your voice pretty quickly. Luckily for you, living in flair does it for you! (Bonus points if you have light-up shoes — a constant reminder to everyone around you about how ~lit~ it is!)

Being extra is a skill, an art form, a lifestyle. So go out there and do more! Be better!! Or if you don’t want to be extra, do less! Be worse!! (though I’m assuming if you’ve made it to this point in the article you are looking to be extra) All in all, there’s no wrong way to #Live #Your #Life. But just saying, being ~incredibly extra~ is an ~incredibly good~ time.

Annika Kouhia