For many college students, a video game offers a chance to kick back and relax after a long day of studies. For University of Houston-Victoria senior Juan Andrade, however, those games are the studies.
The 21-year-old computer science major is working toward a career in programming, developing the same types of games he’s played for years.
“I’ve always been interested in computers, ever since elementary school,” Andrade said, noting role-playing games and first-person shooter varieties are among his favorites. “This just seemed like the right path for me.”
The mental challenge associated with computer programming with its ever-changing language and technology drew him to the field.
“I always look forward to a challenge,” Andrade said. “You have to keep up, and it’s fun.”
Andrade, a Sinton native, graduated from Sinton High School in 2010. He moved on to UHV later that year as part of the university’s first freshman class.
“I toured UHV when it was still an upper-level university, and I liked it,” he said. “During my senior year they sent me a letter saying they were accepting freshmen, so I applied and was accepted. It felt nice being part of the first class.”
Although college life took some getting used to –he had to study more than in high school – UHV, and life in the dorms, proved a good fit. Still, his life doesn’t focus solely on his schoolwork.
Away from the classroom, Andrade said he enjoys the chance to relax a bit. His favorite pastime? It’s simple.
“I like to play video games,” he said.
Andrade said he looks forward to his senior year and to delving deeper into the gaming classes he’s already started.
He encouraged other students studying computer science – or anyone interested – to contact UHV Information Technology for access to the university’s premium DreamSpark account, which gives students access to a variety of software.
Andrade also urged those who are searching for that perfect job or major to step back and really think about what interests them. After all, that’s what he did.
“If you like it as a hobby, you’ll like it as a career,” he said. “Just look for something you love.”
I am a Jaguar is an online feature highlighting the exceptional students who attend the University of Houston-Victoria. To nominate a student, contact Paula Cobler, UHV director of marketing and communications, or call 361-570-4350.