Tips for Getting Your Application Noticed

Tips for Getting Your Application Noticed

Take a holistic approach when completing your application. There are so many factors that will contribute to your acceptance and you need to organize your four years of high school in an effective manner. You, along with your parents, teachers, and counselors will be instrumental in helping the college rep understand your personal values, academic accolades, work ethic, and individual characteristics. 

Coach your recommenders. As a college counselor, I write over fifty recommendation letters a year. I require that each student complete a personal questionnaire if they request a recommendation letter. They also must complete a teacher questionnaire as well if they request a teacher recommendation. I always ask my students if there is something specific that they want me to highlight in their recommendation letter that they were unable to capture in their essay or application. Use each part of the application to your advantage. Ask your recommenders to add specific information to your letter if you and he/she feels it is important to mention. 

Prioritize your accomplishments. Most applications give you a limited number of opportunities or characters to explain your achievements; there is no room to be long-winded, so get to the point. Make a list of your activities/athletics, leadership roles, prestigious awards, and volunteer or work experiences and rank them. List your most important endeavors first and so on. You may not have room to add all your accomplishments, and that is okay. These may be mentioned in a rec letter by a counselor or teacher. Some college reps may spend 15 minutes reviewing your application. You want to explain your best self to catch their attention immediately. 

Create a resume. Too many times I have seen students create a resume with no substance. He/She states their job title, where they work(ed), and dates of employment. Usually, the student does not go into detail about their work experience. If you want your resume to stand out, explain your daily job responsibilities and other projects you led or helped facilitate. This will give the college rep a better understanding of your capabilities and work ethic. This also includes volunteer experiences. One student told me he worked at a soup kitchen every week. I think anyone would assume that he helped prepare the meal and served the patrons; he did neither. Rather, he sat down with those being served and talked to them. He asked them about their lives and listened to their stories. This simple act highlights the student’s empathetic and upstanding character and so much more. 

BRAG! Bragging about oneself is difficult for most students. Remember, the college rep does not know you on a personal level. You need to mold your one-dimensional application into a three-dimensional one, so the college rep can envision you on his/her college campus. I had another student tell me he shoveled snow for his elderly neighbors in the winter. His mom did not understand why he would put this on his resume, because it was something he always did and did not need to be praised for it. But how would the college rep know this if it was not added to his resume? This speaks to the student’s sense of community and kindness. No act of kindness is too small, add it!

When reading your application college reps think: Will this student make a good roommate? Will this student be successful in taking a rigorous course load? Is this student genuine? What will this student add to the campus? And so on. Create an application where the college rep can easily answer these questions as he/she reads through your application.

Financial Mistakes to Avoid During Your Freshman Year

Financial Mistakes to Avoid During Your Freshman Year

Let’s face it: college is expensive.  If you planned carefully before entering your freshman year, chances are you will still have some (hopefully minimal) debt by the time you graduate. That debt, if you play your cards right, should only apply to your tuition and nothing more. The following are some tips on avoiding those extra financial mistakes so many freshmen make.

  1. Create a budget! If you never had to do this before, this is the perfect time to start.  Sit down with those who will be involved in financing your education and really talk this out.  Map out what your expenses will be from month to month while at school, all the way down to that pizza spending money for late-night study sessions (soooo much pizza). Nerdwallet.com has a great budget planner on their site that can help get your started. When you, with the help of your loved ones plan how you will spend money, no matter how much or how little you have to work with, you will be less likely to overspend. Especially with that new credit card you signed up for in front of the Student Union on your first day being on campus. Which, by the way, leads to the next financial mistake freshman make…
  1. Do not live beyond your means –  As a freshman in college, even with the best of budgets (and still create that budget!), chances are you will be a poor college student. Sounds cliché, doesn’t it? What you don’t want to do, however, is live beyond your means. While eating out is enticing, it can become quite costly. You will have a meal plan – use it! Need entertainment?  Research what the campus has to offer to save you the cost of going off campus and spending that extra money.  Sometimes activities on campus are free or a nominal amount.  Plus, you develop more of a sense of community when you are involved in the campus and all it has to offer.
  1. Do not rely on Student Credit Cards – I remember getting my first credit card at 19.  It had an $800 limit, and I didn’t even care what the interest rate was (what was an interest rate, anyway?).  At first, I told myself that I would only use it in emergencies, and of course I would pay the money back when the bill came due.  But then, we really wanted that late-night pizza (see what I mean about pizza), and I was working at the Student Union for minimum wage with my Work Study job and wasn’t going to get paid for another week, so I will just use that handy credit card! I will pay it back.  Then, it started feeling like free money, and I started using it more and more for unnecessary things (i.e., living beyond my means).  By the time Holiday Break came, I maxed out that card. I was only making about $200 a month doing Work Study and needed some of that money to live.  Most of the time I could only pay the minimum at 22% interest; it ended up taking a little over a year to pay that off (which I was lucky enough to do, but others are not so lucky). This tale is not unique to me. So many college freshmen fall into that trap of getting that first credit card and using it like it is free money, thus having to learn an expensive lesson on spending. I am not saying to not get a credit card; just be sure that if you do, be informed about what you are getting, and use it responsibly. Be sure what you spend can be paid off in full by the time the bill comes due. 
  2. Research and apply for scholarships each year – I wish I were more financially savvy as a freshman.  I thought scholarships were given during the application process and that they carried over each year.  Not so! If you are fortunate enough to receive a scholarship that automatically renews each year, that is amazing and kudos to you.  There are so many scholarships opportunities that are not given at schools simply because students do not do the research and apply to them.  Do a little research and find that money! You may be surprised how easy it can be!

Choosing Clubs and Activities on Campus

Choosing Clubs and Activities on Campus

You’ve probably heard the old adage, “It’s not what you know, but who you know.” You’ve heard it for a good reason. It rings true for many people. Participating in clubs and activities on campus can enable you to broaden your social network, which may accordingly lead to increased and/or improved employment opportunities. More importantly, you’re more apt to feel happy and satisfied by developing quality relationships in college. Research in positive psychology points to the quality of our relationships as a determining factor in our happiness. One of the many benefits of clubs and activities in college is the breadth and depth of these opportunities, coupled with a wider, more diverse range of perspectives and personalities. While your friend-group possibilities in high school were likely limited to the few hundred or few thousand teens living within a few miles of the school, in college, you’re more likely able to connect with people from all over the state, country and even the world! All the more reason to “try on” different clubs and activities! Who knows what or whom you’ll discover when you do!

But where to begin?! When it comes to choosing where and how to invest your time and energy, think about what you’re hoping to gain from the experience. Next, consider where these clubs and activities may be located. Finally, think about your long-term goals and begin with the end in mind. Similar to mapping out the route you’ll take to arrive at your destination, identify your destination (e.g., career goal, skill goal) and decide how you want to reach your destination. 

What type of club/activity experience do you want? What do you hope to gain from the experience? 

Are you looking for adventure? You could join an adventure-related club! Are you interested in camping? Some college recreation centers offer camping excursions! Once you’ve identified what you hope to gain, you can ask the right questions to learn where to find these experiences. If you have no idea/don’t have a defined idea of what you hope to gain, consider the common goal. When it comes to going to college and joining clubs, most students join because they are interested in meeting new people and making new friends. Great! You’ll already have that in common with the rest of the students you meet. If you’re one to feel anxious or nervous about meeting new people, remember that. Pretty much everyone else is also interested in meeting and making new friends and are likely feeling a little apprehensive about it, too. Be the “bigger” person, take a leap of faith and introduce yourself to someone new. You might be doing them a solid by helping her/him/them feel more welcome and included. Be generous and give someone the opportunity to enjoy your company.

How to find the clubs and activities that may interest you

  • Clubs: Look for the student affairs/involvement/life type of office at your institution and ask for a list of their student organizations. These lists are often available online. Student organizations are typically organized by category, such as: academic, professional, social, cultural, Greek and service-oriented.
  • Intramural sports: These are typically organized through the student gym/recreation center, so just ask for a list and how to join when you next visit (or look online).
  • Volunteering: Service opportunities are typically listed through a student affairs type office, but could also be housed in a faith-based office. In addition, service-based trips lasting for a few days to a week are often available over winter or spring break. Week-long service trips are an excellent way to develop meaningful relationships. Contact the student affairs office to learn what service/volunteer opportunities are available at your school and how to join.
  • Activities: Workshops, seminars, student conferences, concerts, etc. will typically be listed in a college activities calendar or through the student affairs office. Almost all colleges/universities will have student activities that fall under “school tradition,” so just ask student affairs to learn more. Additionally, your college or major’s department (e.g., Department of Modern Languages, Spanish major) will likely host several events that are relevant to the college or department’s mission (e.g., Spanish major – Día de los Muertos event, fiesta during Hispanic Heritage Month)

Define what you want to accomplish through college (i.e., create college goals)

Here are some example goals related to clubs and activities: 

Seek out and develop life-long friendships. 

Any club or activity that speaks to your values and interests will be a great space 

through which to develop life-long friendships. Actively participating in any club (attending meetings, joining committees and running for an officer position) can provide you with quality experiences that can lead to quality relationships. 

Seek out and develop rapport with a wide range of peers in my career industry.

Clubs that are related to your career (e.g., American Marketing Association, Student Law Association, etc.) can be great for networking and is typically a great forum through which to connect with other like-minded, ambitious and career-focused students. In addition to clearly identifiable career-related organizations, consider joining cultural or faith-based organizations if you hope to work specifically with a particular constituency. e.g., If you’re interested in international trade with China, consider joining the Chinese Student Association. If you’re interested in worked related to the Middle East, consider joining the Islamic Student Association.

Develop strong ties with the local community and dedicate time to service.

Many faith-based organizations/offices offer service-related activities and organizations 

through which to volunteer in the community. Some schools may also have a volunteer office that organizes and coordinates volunteer opportunities with local non-profits. Ask the student affairs office for more details and ways to connect.

Please note that these goals are not mutually exclusive. By dedicating time and effort into establishing life-long friendships, you may very well also connect with friends who later help you in your career. By devoting yourself to the community, you are likely to also develop life-long friendships. 

How to Choose a Minor

How to Choose a Minor

You’ve probably heard of majors, double majors and minors, but what exactly are they? First, as the labels imply, majors have more class requirements than minors. Then what does it mean to be a biology major? Psychology double major? Creative writing minor? In a technical sense, a program of study (major/minor) is simply an assortment of classes that were chosen by faculty. They decided which classes would best represent the major/minor title. When considering minor options, be sure to focus on the classes required for the minor and confirm they are of interest to you. You should feel excited about the classes you would need to take! 

What’s the “best” minor to choose?

That’s a value question and “value” is subjective. What’s “best” for you may not be “best” for your friend. You could make a case for any assortment of classes to be “valuable,” depending on how you choose to use the skills and/or knowledge you gained from taking the courses required for that minor. To give you some ideas on how this works, let’s consider how you might evaluate your options.

Complementary Pairing

Some programs of study just seem to go together like bread and butter. For example, if you love numbers, you might decide to major in finance. Finance and accounting are complimentary – both involve numbers and are related. Professionals in finance use the reports generated through accounting to conduct their analyses and forecasts. Pursuing a minor in accounting may accordingly help you work more effectively with your accounting colleagues.

If you are artistic and plan to major in art, you might benefit from learning how to market and sell your art. A minor in entrepreneurship, sales marketing or data analytics (if you’re selling online and need to monitor/manage your online sales) could help you run your art business.

If you are interested in working in human services for the federal government and major in sociology, a minor in management, leadership, conflict resolution, public policy or data analytics could help you better function in your role.

Future Career Pairing

If you already know exactly what you plan to do after college, you can more easily choose majors/minors that will specifically tie into your future career. You can pursue a skill-based minor (learn specific skill such as data analytics, computer science, graphic design), knowledge-based minor (gain better understanding and knowledge in an area relevant to your future career, such as Islamic studies if you plan to work in the Middle East or women & gender studies if you want to target the female market for your products) or a combo skill and knowledge-based minor. Check the required classes for the minor to understand what the minor entails/what you would gain from it.

Fitting in a Minor

Many degrees are made up of 3-4 parts: general education requirements, major requirements, electives and college or program core classes. Double major and minor requirements are typically fulfilling the electives portion of the degree. Thus, instead of any random assortment of electives, you would complete the specific requirements for whatever minor(s) of interest to you.

Example

To fit in a minor, you would typically need to verify that you have enough free electives to complete the classes required for the minor. Plug in the classes you need to graduate into a 4-year timeline and you’ll understand what it takes for you to graduate in four years with the minor you want.

FallSpring
Year 1Class 1, class 2, class 3, class 4, class 5Class 1, class 2, class 3, class 4, class 5
Year 2Class 1, class 2, class 3, class 4, class 5Class 1, class 2, class 3, class 4, class 5
Year 3Class 1, class 2, class 3, class 4, class 5Class 1, class 2, class 3, class 4, class 5
Year 4Class 1, class 2, class 3, class 4, class 5Class 1, class 2, class 3, class 4, class 5
How to Work with Your Student Advisor Effectively

How to Work with Your Student Advisor Effectively

By Corban Sanchez

Working with your college advisor is a lot like working with your high school guidance counselor. A big difference is that, like the rest of the college experience, you’re expected to be more independent and take the initiative to seek the guidance and support you need. Colleges want to graduate competent people who, among other things, can maintain employment…and later donate back to the university! This means that communicating effectively and working well with others, making and keeping appointments, keeping track of requirements, and reading the material you’re given are all an important part of the college experience and your development. Taking ownership of your college experience and degree requirements will help you to develop the level of independence and competence necessary to become a highly sought-after employee. 

Who is my advisor?

Advisor type: Part of developing your general competence also involves learning how to navigate bureaucracy (whom to go to for what). The larger the college, the more complex (and typically siloed) they tend to be with available services. Employees in smaller schools tend to wear multiple hats/perform multiple functions. In larger schools, similar to larger hospitals, federal government offices, etc., employees work specifically within their designated area/specialty. With this in mind, when reaching out to an advisor, pay attention to the advisor’s title and office name. Unlike high school, where you likely only had one “counselor” type title, there are MANY different types of “advisors” in college (financial aid advisor, study abroad advisor, accounts payable advisor, student success counselor/coach, peer advisor, honors program advisor, career advisor, international student services advisor, athletic advisor, college/staff advisor, etc.) If you pay attention to the title and/or advisor’s office/department (undergraduate college office vs financial aid office), you’re more apt to direct the appropriate question to the appropriate advisor. (e.g., financial aid questions go to financial aid advisors, study abroad questions go to study abroad advisors, career questions go to career advisors) You’ll likely feel less frustrated, too, because you’ll avoid the “run around” of being transferred to different offices when you go to the appropriate person the first time.

Advisor role: In addition to noting the type of advisor with whom you are working, research whether you’re working with faculty or staff advisors (or both) and the advising structure at your college. (research: internet search of college name, major/department, advising – e.g., “Duke University biology advising”) Do they assign advisors by major (ideally keeping you with the same advisor all four years), or do they assign advisors by year in college? Is your college advisor faculty or staff? 

  • Faculty advisors are full-time professors and they advise on the side. Their primary role is teaching and research in their discipline. Thus, they’re your go-to for class/curriculum-specific questions. They likely teach or work regularly with the people who teach, the courses in your major that you’ll be taking. You’ll yield more useful responses if you direct class content-related questions to faculty advisors. (e.g., When will ABC 101 next be available? What type of assignments could I expect for ABC 200-level courses in your department? What do we cover in ABC 102?) Advisors with any of the following titles would be a faculty advisor: “Professor,” “Associate Professor,” or “Assistant Professor.”
  • Staff advisors are full-time staff who typically work directly with students every business day (and who may teach a class or two here and there on the side). Their primary role is advising students on their caseload (again, research how this is managed at your school). They are like your primary care physician and serve as generalists. They have a general knowledge of available resources, academic policies, where to find/go for whatever you need, etc. If you don’t know where to begin or what to do, a staff advisor is a great starting point and s/he can point you in the right direction. Advisors without a “professor” title would generally mean s/he is a staff advisor.

Advisor Management Tips

  • You will likely receive a TON of emails from your advisor(s). Create email folders specific to each advisor type you have (e.g., study abroad, financial aid, general advising) so that you may save the emails and stay organized for easy reference.
  • Think through your needs, identify goals, and be prepared with questions. A general, “just making sure I’m on track to graduate” advising appointment may yield just that, but advising can provide you with so much more! The more you help your advisor understand who you are, what you hope to accomplish, and what you hope to experience, the more your advisor can help you achieve those goals and share the type of information that would be useful to you. What you communicate to them prompts what they communicate to you. Sharing very little about yourself with your advisor is like sharing very little with your doctor and expecting him/her to diagnose you without pertinent details (e.g., what hurts, what have you been eating, where have you traveled, how long has this been a problem, etc.) They can be more helpful to you if you help them to better understand you.
  • Have a paper and pen – take notes during an advising appointment. You will be held accountable for your degree requirements and you’re the one who suffers if you don’t keep track of them.
  • Most colleges provide a one-page sheet that outlines all of your degree requirements. Print and tape this to your bedroom wall so that you become more familiar with what you need to complete.

Laundry Tips for the Laundry Room

Laundry Tips for the Laundry Room

College is a time of gaining more independence, and for some, that may mean doing their own laundry for the first time in a shared laundry room.  So if you need help with your course load, this blog isn’t for you, but it will help you with some tips on your laundry loads and if all else fails, call home, but let’s try these tips first!

Fast forward to the first semester of freshman year, you are sitting in your dorm room when you see your laundry piled over its basket, the moment you’ve been putting off has arrived.  You have to venture down to the laundry room and do your laundry so don’t forget to strip your bed, pack up a pile of quarters and follow these steps. 

Step one: Find an open washer, or two. Start to separate your laundry.  As you separate your clothes into a light pile and a dark pile, check the pockets.  

Step two: Fill the washer with one of your piles, but don’t overload it! Fill it about 3/4 of the way full. 

Step three: Add your detergent.  Measure the amount of the detergent using the convenient lines on the cap depending on how much clothes you have in the washer. Push start!

Step four: Grab some homework, study material or a book! It’s going to be about 45 minutes to an hour!

Step five: When the buzzer goes off, it is time to transfer to the dryer! As you put the wet clothes in the dryer, shake them out a bit to decrease wrinkles! Add some quarters and push start.

Step six: Continue homework or studying.

Step seven: When the dryer is finished, check your clothes, fold them and you’re done!

Now that you know the basic steps to do your laundry, let’s dive in a little more about some tips when sharing a laundry room.  Whether you’ve done laundry before you left for college or not, sharing a laundry room with the rest of your dorm is a bit different than sharing it with your siblings so follow these steps to conquer Freshman Laundry 101:

  1. Start to learn the busy times in the laundry room (like Sundays) and try to do your laundry when it isn’t going to be as busy. 
  2. Either set a timer on your phone to come back down before your load is done or stay near the laundry room doing homework.  Others will take your clothes out of the washer or dryer if the machine is done.
  3. Don’t leave your detergent or dryer sheets in the laundry room.  People will use them, so when you’re at Target buying a shower caddy, buy two, and use one to transport your laundry necessities. 
  4. Have laundry etiquette. Be on time for your clothes and be respectful on the amount of washers or dryers you are using! 
  5. Double check the machines before and after use, you never know if a loose sock got stuck to the side! 

Hope some of these tips have been helpful as you tackle learning new things inside and outside of the classroom! Do your laundry and do it often, don’t wait until you run out of clean clothes!

Healthy Snack Recipes For Students On The Go

Healthy Snack Recipes For Students On The Go

by Brooke Nowak

We’ve all heard it before: the dreaded “freshman 15” but the reality is not all college students  gain weight during their first year at school.  In fact, The Journal of American College of Health reports only 50% of students gain weight.  There are quite a few factors that could play in to the unwanted weight gain: stress, not enough exercise, limited fresh produce, fast food and new eating habits, so put down the Costco-sized box of Ramen and read through some quick healthy snack recipes and some tips for a healthier diet at college. 

First, let’s head to the grocery store and bring this list to stock your mini fridge:

Eggs
Yogurt 
Oatmeal
Rice cakes
Trail mix
Fruits and Vegetables

  • apples, bananas, grapes and oranges 
  • carrot sticks, celery sticks and cucumber slices

Dips

  • peanut butter or almond butter
  • hummus
  • guacamole 

Cheese

  • low fat cheese sticks, shredded or cubes 

Need a quick breakfast? No problem. You can make eggs in a mug.  Just crack an egg into a microwave-safe mug, pour in a little milk and mix.  Put the mug in the microwave for about 90 seconds and your breakfast is ready. Don’t want eggs?  Mix it up and make oatmeal in a mug!

Have a full day of classes? Grab these snack and go:

Apple slices and peanut butter 

Toast with peanut butter and sliced banana

Celery sticks with almond butter

Now that your fridge is stocked, and you have a couple snack ideas, follow some of these tips to stay healthy! 

  1. Eat breakfast! Give yourself enough time before rushing to your first class to eat a healthy breakfast.  Eggs in a mug, anyone?
  2. Snack, snack, snack. Be prepared for your busy day and bring with some of the recipes provided in this blog.  Small healthy snacks throughout the day can help you feel full and not grab for fast food on the go!
  3. Stay active. Whether it’s going to the gym or walking to class, just keep moving!
  4. Sleep! Managing your time and responsibilities during the day can allow you to get a full night sleep! But when you have to pull an all nighter, instead of ordering pizza or fast food, reach for some of your healthier snacks to curb your appetite! 

It’s important when you’re trying to eat healthy at college, to understand what you’re eating. These healthy snacks are as simple as it gets to keep your energy (and your grades) up! 

Why students should get involved in college…

1. It allows students to become connected to their school: Colleges are full of resources, but the responsibility is on the student to seek them out. Being involved helps them to do that.  Students should find the on-line resource or office building that is in charge of school activities.  Most schools even have questionnaires that will help students figure out what clubs and/or organizations they would like to join.  

2. It helps build community: Since students are leaving their family and sometimes their friends behind, getting involved helps them discover new friends with similar interests.  Getting involved in college allows students to meet like-minded people and fosters a sense of community.  Achieving a sense of belonging fosters social and emotional health and leads to many rewarding experiences. 

3. It allows students to discover their passions and strengths: These will follow them all through life. It allows them to discover what they don’t like, too.  One of the best things about college is having the opportunity to try new things.  Students who go outside of their comfort zone and try new things will discover interests they didn’t know they had. 

4. It’s a résumé builder: Freshman year is not too soon to begin thinking about positioning yourself for future employment.  Not all involvement has to be ongoing or long-term.  Consider temporary activities as well, such as, campus event planning or service projects.  There will most likely be a community newsletter students can subscribe to in order to stay up-to-date on campus events and activities. 

5. Sometimes, busier kids do better in all areas: This will vary a lot by the student, of course, but more free time does not always equal better grades. Being involved will require some organization and time management on the part of the student—and that’s a good thing.

It is up to the student to make the most out of their college experience and be they’re own advocate.  All students should get out there and be involved!!!

All about the Greek life

All about the Greek life

By:  Lauren Benters, School Counselor

You’ve seen the college sorority and fraternity houses in movies and on TV, students partying, drinking copious amounts of alcohol, and scantily clad people.  Is it really accurate? Just like anything else in movies or on TV, all of that is usually quite a stretch. Let’s explore Greek life, so you can decide if it is right for you.  

Greek life was designed to bond students together in “brotherhood” or “sisterhood”, and that really is a great foundation.  You go off to college, knowing no one, and it can be one way to make the campus so much smaller. You have people taking the same classes as you to form study groups, and you have older brothers and sisters that can mentor you on this academic and personal journey of learning to be a successful student and adult.  

Greek communities house many connections.  Under each fraternity and sorority house roof, you have a group of diverse people from many different backgrounds.  People with connections in their hometowns you may need. People with family members that work in ________ industry you can score an internship with.  Brothers and sisters representing all sorts of majors, in case you are thinking about exploring a new major. While there are fees associated with joining a sorority and fraternity, those endless connections may be worth any dues paid.  Heck, you may even be interviewed by someone in the same house as you were in: instant connection.

We need to still be cognizant of the negatives about Greek life (lots of partying, older students asserting power on underclassmen, etc.) however if you think it sounds like something you are interested in, feel free to give it a try.  If it doesn’t work, you can always deactivate and stop paying any fees altogether. If it does work, you could end up with some of the best friends you’ve ever met, and land a job you’ve always wanted.

Ramen Recipes

Ramen Recipes - Lighthouse College Planing

Preparing Ramen Noodles for a Recipe

Boil the noodles according to the directions on the package and drain. If raw noodles are called for, then just break the noodles into bite-sized pieces before opening the package. Fried ramen noodles add crunch and a unique flavor to a recipe. For a recipe calling for fried noodles, heat 1/3 cup of canola oil in a frying pan and break the noodles into small pieces. Add them to the hot oil, and stir constantly until they are nicely browned.

Boiled Ramen Noodle Salads

  • To make a basic ramen cabbage salad, shred a cup of Napa cabbage and a cup each of red cabbage and carrot. Add cup dry roasted peanuts and toss with boiled noodles and a dressing of 1 tablespoon each vinegar and sesame oil, a splash of lime juice, and a teaspoon sugar.
  • For a chicken ramen cabbage salad, follow the directions for recipe 1 above and stir in 1 cups diced cooked chicken and cup each chopped bell pepper and snap peas.
  • For a spicier ramen cabbage salad, add 1 cup shredded cabbage and some chopped scallions to the boiled noodles. Make a dressing of 3 tablespoons mayonnaise, 1 teaspoon lemon juice, teaspoon chili sauce (or to taste), and a pinch of sugar and salt. Garnish with toasted sesame seeds.
  • Greek salad with ramen is another great bet. Over boiled noodles, place 1 cup chopped red bell pepper, 1 cup feta cheese crumbled, and cup each chopped onions, tomatoes, green olives, and black olives. Mix cup canola oil and cup lemon juice to pour over the salad.
  • Make an antipasto salad by adding cup each sliced pepperoni and black olives plus 1/8 cup sliced Bermuda onion to a package of cooled boiled ramen. Add Italian dressing to taste.
  • For a more traditional pasta salad, you can also add cup mayonnaise, 2 tablespoons mustard, tablespoon honey, 1 chopped celery stalk, 2 chopped hard boiled eggs and cup cubed cheddar cheese a package of boiled noodles.

Fried Ramen Noodle Salads

  • Make bok choy ramen with a package of fried ramen noodles, a head of thinly sliced bok choy, a few green onions sliced and a half cup of sliced almonds. Toss with a dressing made of 1/3 cup olive oil, cup vinegar, 1 teaspoon soy sauce and cup sugar. Serve immediately.
  • Substitute Napa cabbage for the bok choy in recipe 7 above and then add 1 tablespoons soy sauce to the dressing for a Napa cabbage salad.
  • An Oriental Chicken salad can be made with a package of fried noodles, 4 cups cooked chicken breast, 6 green onions sliced, 1 cup toasted slivered almonds, cup sesame seeds, cup vinegar, cup canola oil, 2 teaspoons seasoned salt, teaspoon black pepper, 3 tablespoons sugar. Toss with half a head of shredded lettuce, garnish with mandarin oranges if desired and serve immediately.

Uncooked Ramen Noodle Salads

  • A tasty broccoli and ramen noodle salad requires two packages of raw broken ramen noodles, a 16-ounce package of broccoli slaw mix, a bunch of green onions chopped, and a cup each of unsalted peanuts and sunflower seeds. Mix these ingredients and pour over a dressing of cup vegetable oil, 1/3 cup cider vinegar, cup white sugar, and 1 seasoning packet. A squirt of lime juice and some chopped cilantro can also be added.
  • For a light ramen salad, toss 4 cups shredded lettuce, 1 grated carrot, 4 green onions sliced and cup slivered almonds, with a package of uncooked ramen noodles. Pour over a dressing made of 2 tablespoons each of canola oil and honey, the seasoning packet (chicken or beef are recommended) and cup each rice vinegar and apple juice. Toss and serve.

Ramen Noodle Soups

  • The easiest ramen soup recipe is to simply cook 2 cups of frozen vegetables of your choice (chopped broccoli or California blend works well) about half way and then add the ramen noodles and seasoning packet and cook according to package directions.
  • Shrimp ramen soup can be made by heating frozen cooked shrimp (as much as you like) while bringing the water for the soup to a boil. Then just cook soup according to package directions.
  • Japanese vegetable ramen is made with cup each chopped scallions, chopped green pepper, and bamboo shoots simmered in 2 cups of Shiitake mushroom broth. Add cooked ramen noodles and garnish with dried kelp and a hard-boiled egg, cut in half lengthwise.
  • For Shiitake chicken ramen soup, prepare the soup as in recipe 14 above but add 1-2 poached chicken breasts diced.
  • Cook ramen according to package directions, adding 1-2 cups chopped broccoli to the boiling water at the same time as the noodles. Pour into serving bowl and top with four slices of fried Spam and a poached egg.
  • Ramen tomato soup is super simple. Cook ramen noodles in 2 cups of water and then add a can of condensed cream of tomato soup. Stir occasionally as you heat just to boiling. Add a squirt of hot sauce if desired.

Beef Ramen Dishes

  • Make Tex Mex ramen by browning pound of ground beef. Stir in package of taco seasoning mix and boiled ramen noodles. Place on serving dish and top with cup each diced tomato, chopped onion and shredded cheese, a bit of chopped cilantro and some crushed nacho-cheese flavored tortilla chips.
  • Ramen beef pie is a new twist on shepherd’s pie. Brown 1 pound ground beef with cup onion. Place in a glass casserole dish, sprinkle with about half a bag of frozen peas and carrots and then for the top layer, use two packages of boiled ramen noodles. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 to 15 minutes.
  • Stir fry 1 pound beef steak strips. Stir in 2 cups chopped broccoli and 1 cup chopped onion along with a seasoning packet. Stir fry for an additional 5 minutes. Add 1 tablespoon soy sauce and 1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper. Continue cooking until vegetables reach desired tenderness.

Chicken Ramen Dishes

  • For chicken lo mein, place 1 tablespoon each canola oil and soy sauce in a frying pan. Heat, add 1 pound of chicken breast strips and brown. Add cup each chopped onion, green pepper and zucchini. Cook until vegetables are tender, stir in one package of boiled ramen noodles and serve.
  • Chicken Diablo begins by sautéing 1 diced chicken breast in 2 tablespoons butter. When chicken is cooked, stir in cup chopped onion and 2 tablespoons flour. Cook until deep brown. Add 1 cup water, 1 tablespoon vinegar, 1 tablespoon snipped parsley and teaspoon each tarragon and thyme. Bring to a boil, simmer for one minute and serve over hot boiled ramen.
  • For a Caesar-flavored meal, stir 2 diced cooked chicken breasts, cup crumbled bacon, and cup each croutons and Caesar salad dressing into 2 packages of boiled ramen noodles.
  • To make chicken Parmesan, bread and fry 2 chicken breasts in olive oil. Cook chicken until golden brown. Add two cups of spaghetti sauce to the pan and heat through. Add cup grated Parmesan cheese to the top of the chicken. Cook until cheese is melted. Serve over 2 packages hot boiled ramen.
  • Make a Thai-inspired dish with 2 tablespoons of soy sauce mixed with 2 tablespoons peanut butter, teaspoon each garlic powder and teaspoon chili powder. Stir into hot boiled noodles along with 1 cup diced cooked chicken and about 4 sliced green onions.

Ham Ramen Dishes

  • Fry 1 cup diced ham in 2 teaspoons sesame oil. Add cup green peas and cook until tender. Stir in package of ramen seasoning packet, teaspoon garlic powder, boiled ramen noodles and three chopped green onions.
  • Make a ham ramen frittata by melting a tablespoon of butter in a large ovenproof skillet and adding 3 sliced scallions and 4 slices of deli ham diced. Cook three minutes and then pour over 6 beaten eggs that have been mixed with 2 packages boiled ramen noodles and one chicken-flavored ramen packet. Shake pan to evenly distribute and top with cup shredded cheddar cheese. Place skillet in preheated 350-degree oven and bake until egg is set, about 6 to 8 minutes.
  • For ham and cheese ramen, boil a package of noodles with the seasoning packet. Drain noodles and stir in cup each diced ham and cheese. Cover the sauce pan and allow to sit for 5 minutes so the cheese melts.

Super Quick Ramen Dishes

  • Pour heated marinara sauce over hot boiled ramen noodles for a meal reminiscent of spaghetti in half the time.
  • Heat your favorite Alfredo sauce and pour over hot boiled ramen. Stir in diced ham or cooked chicken if you have any on hand.
  • To one package of boiled ramen noodles, stir in a can of tuna drained, a can of cream of mushroom soup and a handful of crushed potato chips, if you wish.
  • Parmesan ramen is as quick as cooking a package of ramen and sprinkling on cup of grated Parmesan cheese. Stir in a bit of fresh parsley if you’ve got it.
  • Stir-fry a package of frozen vegetables with 4 ounces cubed firm tofu. Stir in boiled ramen noodles and season with 1 tablespoon each soy sauce and lime juice. Add Tabasco to taste.
  • Sauté a clove of chopped garlic in a teaspoon of olive oil. Stir in boiled noodles, 2 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice, and season to taste with salt and pepper.
  • Stir your favorite pesto sauce into hot boiled ramen noodles.
  • Heat up a can of chili and serve over hot boiled ramen noodles.
  • Mix cooled boiled ramen noodles with three-bean salad and some additional Italian dressing.
  • Add of a chicken flavored seasoning packet, 1 tablespoon butter, and 2-3 tablespoons milk to a package of boiled drained ramen for a creamy side dish.
  • To one package of boiled noodles, stir in cup of salsa, cup sliced pepperoni or ham strips, 1 tablespoon pickle relish, and 1 teaspoon mustard for jail break ramen.

Ramen for Breakfast

  • Break an egg in with the ramen noodles while boiling. Add seasoning packet as directed and enjoy a filling breakfast soup.
  • In a medium saucepan, boil just enough water to cover a block of ramen. When water comes to a boil, add block of ramen and then a layer of onion and tomato slices. Top with a whole raw egg. Put the over on and cook until the egg reaches desired doneness.
  • Boil ramen noodles and one beaten egg for three minutes. Drain all but 1 tablespoon water. Stir in seasoning packet, cup shredded cheese and a dash or two of hot sauce. Wrap flavored noodles in warm tortillas for breakfast burritos.

Ramen Desserts

  • Place three sponge cake dessert cups on a plate. Top with sliced banana, 1/3 cup maraschino cherries, package of fried ramen noodles and cup hot fudge sauce.
  • Chocolate ramen is for when you need a serious sugar fix. Boil ramen in 2 cups of water with cup of brown sugar added. Pour off most of the water and then stir in teaspoon of vanilla and cup chocolate syrup. Pour onto serving plate and sprinkle powdered sugar over it. Garnish with whipped cream if you wish. Wash down with a tall glass of milk.
  • Mix up one 3-ounce package of fruit-flavored gelatin according to package directions. Stir in a package of fried ramen and chill until set.
  • Place three scopes of ice cream in a bowl. Top with 1/3 cup hot fried ramen noodles and your favorite ice cream sauce. (Carmel works well.)

Ramen Snacks

  • Open up a package of ramen noodles, break off a chunk and dip into your favorite salsa.
  • For a trail-mix, combine a package of fried ramen noodles with cup dried cranberries, and cup each sliced almonds and dried apricots.
  • Mix together 2 packages of uncooked broken ramen noodles, 2 cups Chex cereal, and 1 cup each pretzels and peanuts. Melt cup butter and stir in 1 teaspoon season salt and 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce. Pour over the noodle and cereal mixture, stirring well. Bake in 250 degree oven for 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes. Cool and serve.
  • A grilled ramen snack can be made by marinating an intact ramen cake in a mixture of 2 tablespoons soy sauce, the ramen seasoning packet, a squirt of your favorite hot sauce, cup hot water and teaspoon each of lemon juice, sesame oil, and sugar. Allow the ramen cake to sit in the marinade until tender but still cohesive, about 10 minutes on each side. Place on the grill and cook for about three minutes on each side. Watch closely. The goal is golden brown not charred noodles.