This past summer, I had a travel experience that has had me reflecting on the past year.

We arrived at the Canadian border eager to visit my oldest daughter and her husband who had moved to Toronto last October. The borders had finally opened up, and we had everything in place for a smooth crossing. So we thought. 

Passport Number: Check
Vaccination Card: Check
Negative Covid Test: Check
ArriveCan App Complete: Check

We pulled up to Border Patrol with documents in hand.

The date of David’s second vaccine was on August 15. Two weeks have not passed.”

We look at each other confused. I was certain she put in the correct dates.  

My husband, trying to be helpful. “No officer, that must be my third shot. I just got a booster. Here is my vaccination card with the correct dates," he explains proffering his card. 

The border agent dismissed our pleas: “It’s not what you have in ArriveCan.”   

No problem. I frantically try to sign into ArriveCan to correct my error. “Ma’am, put down your phone, now.”  

“I’ll just change it, no problem.”

“Ma’am, do not touch the ArriveCan app!!” Said with more force, as if I were wielding a weapon instead of a smartphone.

He shakes his head with disgust at our seeming lack of preparation. Then he gets to our Covid tests. Shaking his head back and forth in absolute disbelief at these dumb Americans, he sneers pointing to me and my daughter. “Boy, you two ladies are really messed up. You need the PCR test, not this antigen test.”  

“What’s the difference?”  

By this time, it’s clear that we are not making it over the Canadian border; we desperately ask: “Is there anywhere we can get a PCR test?” 

"If you’ll pay, yes!" We turned around, found the closest rapid PCR test, which was a pop-up stand set up for fools exactly like us. Five hours and $450 later, we made it over the border. The second border agent waved us effortlessly in not once looking at the ArriveCan app!  

This snag in our plans required us to pivot as we all have over and over and over again in ways large and small. This last year has taught us to be flexible and prepared to change on a dime.  

Can’t do your a cappella fundraiser in person? Create an online competition, and open it up to more schools and even college groups. 

Can’t go on your church’s mission trip? Volunteer at a local food bank and learn about Covid’s impact on food insecurity. 

Get deferred or denied from your early school? Focus on your other great options and be open to all the possibilities.  

Find yourself struggling with the full demands of in-person high school? Figure out if it’s academic or mental health-related. Be proactive: get extra help, adjust your study skills, or find someone to talk to. Be kind to yourself as we are all struggling to adjust to these changing realities. 

We’ve all had to dig deeper and deeper into our resiliency reserves, and at times, it’s not easy. But we keep pushing because there are still some remarkable things that will happen in 2022.


Lisa and the CBM Team
Planning College Visits

Although many universities have recently returned to remote learning and there is uncertainty about when students will return to the classroom, we are hopeful that it will happen soon.

Click here for an article on Admissions Visits During Omicron.

For those of you planning in-person visits at colleges offering admission events and tours (both group and self-guided), here are some tips:

  • Review the Academic Calendar 
  • Identify Your Options 
  • Determine Your Needs 
  • Make a Reservation 
  • Plan the Trip

Click for the full article: Tips for Planning College Visits.

As you begin planning your college visits for Spring Break, you'll want to make sure that students are on campus. This website lists many college's spring breaks:

And here is a guide and video to help you navigate virtual visits.
What's On Our Minds
Summer Planning

Now is the time to start thinking about how to spend your summers. Many summer programs have an application deadline of March 1 or earlier, and others offer early registration discounts. It’s good to start early to figure out how to make the most of your summer because it is a great time to fill in gaps in your profile or dive deeper into areas of interest for high school sophomores and juniors.

Here is a blog post that lists online summer opportunities, which we are optimistic won't be the main option for 2022.
LD College Visits

For a student with learning differences, finding a college with the necessary accommodations and academic support services is important to his/her academic success. Services at the post-secondary level vary widely and can be grouped into three categories: minimal, moderate, and comprehensive program.

  • Minimal Services
  • Moderate Services
  • Comprehensive Program

Housing at State Schools

At some state schools (e.g., Colorado), the earlier you submit your deposit to the school, the higher priority you will receive in the housing lottery. So, if your child has been admitted to a state school and it is one of their top choices, please contact the school’s housing office to find out if you will benefit from depositing early. Please note that if you pay a deposit and ultimately choose another school, then you will forfeit that money, so you may not want to take the risk. In any event, it’s good to understand how housing assignments work at your top choice schools.
Study Tips for Major Exams

Here are some tips to help you do your best during exams:

  • Organize and Plan Ahead.
  • Determine your needs.
  • Create a "Distraction Free" Zone.
  • Take an Exercise Break.

Click here to read more about    Study Tips for Major Exams
Sending Midyear Reports

Now is time to put in a request to guidance to send your midyear report. Schools may also request additional information. 

Click to read:   Sending Midyear Reports
What We're Reading
Giving Back to Your Community During Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service 

With MLK Day on Monday, here are many virtual and in-person ideas and resources to help you celebrate this day of service.

Please continue to update us on the status of your applications. Be aware of financial aid deadlines and as always, contact us with any questions.


Please send us feedback on any college visits or test scores so we can continue to refine your list. If we have not met already, please schedule your College List Personal Needs Assessment to develop your list. 


If you haven't already, please schedule a meeting to discuss classes for next year and summer plans. Also if you want to start testing the waters and visiting some colleges to get a sense of what you like and dislike, let us know and we'll map out a plan.