As a student, you're probably familiar with the experience of working hard to do well on a difficult exam. You know, the studying hard the night (or weeks) before, the agony of the test itself, the relief when it's over. You may even look at the college admissions process as another sort of exam, where you fill out your part and then wait an inordinately long period of time before you get back your "grade."
Well, this morning I was brushing my teeth and reflecting that, if I think of the admissions process as an exam from the perspective of the admissions office, we're at the point where we're almost done with the test. We've put in all the extra hours and late nights studying (reading applications), we've answered most of the questions (talked about each application in committee), and we just have a few more to go before we fit in as much checking and double-checking of our work as we can before our time runs out. The pressure has begun to lift, but the euphoria won't really set in until we hand in our paper (mail out decisions). Afterwards, we'll be pretty excited, but will still have to wait to find out our score (see if we met our enrollment targets). If we don't do as well as we'd like, we're lucky enough to have the opportunity to redo some of our answers (take people off the waitlist) to get a better grade.
It's all a bit more complicated than that, of course, but hopefully that gives you a sense of where we're at in the admissions process and how it feels like from this end of things. I, for one, am very excited to no longer have dangerously high stacks of applications waiting for my attention, but I know it's not quite time to run around shouting "Free, free, free at last!" Or, um, I mean, move on to other important admissions-related tasks.