I think an artifact that represents my first year experience, and college experience in general would be a Rubik’s cube.  I think this perfectly represents this experience because at first glace everything is in extreme disorder, and the solution seems impossible.  This is equivalent to a first year student having doubts about their, college selection, major, roommate, grades, classes, the list could go on and on.  With all of these doubts and negativity in mind it can be very easy to have no hope.  As time goes on the cube starts to become a bit more ordered and some colors start to line up.  This is equivalent to how first year students slowly begin to figure things out and get into their stride in a college lifestyle and environment.  Grades start to rise and the student becomes more certain about their career path and passion.  Then as even more time passes the cube becomes almost complete and just needs the finishing touches.  This is equivalent to the last few years in undergrad or graduate school.  The student is almost completely confident in what they want to do and it is just a matter of time before they get to go out in the real world and do it.  Finally, the cube is solved and everything comes full circle, the student that was so doubtful is now triumphant.  Their self confidence is through the roof because they remember where they started.  So now looking back, I would encourage incoming students to look at their college years as a Rubik’s cube and to embrace the process, because it’s only a matter of time before you find the solution.