Joshua Hirshfield ’21, School of Fine Arts

Joshua Hirshfield reflects on his time at UConn

Photo of Joshua Hirshfield

Joshua Hirshfield (Contributed photo)

Why did you choose UConn?
I wanted to be somewhere where I felt like part of a community, and UConn’s atmosphere was perfect. From the moment I visited the campus I understood what it meant to be a Husky, and I immediately wanted to be a part of it. Everything from the Dairy Bar to the basketball games felt great to be a part of and were so enriching. I knew quite a few UConn students before I began my college career at Storrs, and from the stories they told to the nights I’ll remember, I’m glad I chose UConn. The environment is accepting, caring, and cultivates friendship. It’s the kind of place I hope everyone experiences at some point in their lives.

What’s your major and why did you choose it?

For my entire life I’ve wanted to get into the games industry, and UConn had a small program that I didn’t know much about. I decided to visit and learn more about it, and once I met everyone, I quickly realized they were doing some amazing stuff for such a small group of people. It felt like the place to be. The combination of my passion for digital games and a games department that was budding with excitement made it difficult to even think about another major. I’m glad I chose to be a Digital Media & Design Major with a concentration in Digital Games. Comparing this program to other schools that focus solely on games, I was able to dip my toes into every area of Digital Media, not only Digital Games. I’ve learned a lot of different tools throughout Digital Media, some that only tangentially relate to games.

How has UConn prepared you for the next chapter in life?
UConn’s campus is filled with so many different types of people, and I can’t remember a class where I didn’t work with a group. Learning how to communicate with both students and professors was a key component in my success throughout my college career. Everyone communicates differently, and that by far is the most important take-away from my time at UConn. It not only applies to my collegiate success but will apply everywhere I go throughout my life.

What’s one thing that surprised you about UConn?
How nice the campus is. When you first visit it’s gorgeous, but when you start taking classes and living on campus you quickly realize just how wonderful the entire environment is. There are so many great places to sit and work both indoors and outdoors. You can set up anywhere with your laptop and get a ton of work done almost anywhere you feel like.

Any advice for incoming first-year students?
Remember to think about yourself. Take a moment every day to breathe. Everyone has a point in their time at college where they feel the weight of the world is on their shoulders. It might feel impossible, but when you’re in that place, take a walk outside, even if it’s chilly. Grab a meal from a dining hall if they’re open, or snag something from the Union. Use provided resources like the Rec Center, Writing Center, and Center for Career Development to help relieve stress in areas in and out of academics. There are loads of places all over campus to help you succeed, and I wish I had reached out to them sooner.

What’s one thing that will always make you think of UConn?
Basketball. I cannot stress enough how much of UConn culture comes from our amazing basketball teams. I won’t be able to look at anything related to basketball and not think about our amazing players. They’ll be in the back of my mind forever.