In Computer Science school (at least, at my university), the language of choice is Java. I don’t know why this is. Although I could list personal gripes I have with the language, I’ll refrain and simply say that I prefer alternatives to it by a great deal.
One of the first major projects we had was to develop a graphical version of a game called “Surround”, which is not a very complicated piece of software and also isn’t necessarily all that fun to play. But don’t let that stop you! Install Java and play to your heart’s content!