When I returned to computer programming during my senior year of college, I chose Java. The Internet was the Big Thing back then, and applet programming looked pretty interesting. I'd dabbled in C++, but it was a lot more than I wanted back then.
In my subsequent job as a printing and imaging guru (color laser printers), I wrote a couple of in-house apps in Java. This was where and how I really got into Linux -- my brother was a fan and showed me how much easier development was than on a Windows (especially 3.11) machine.
I realized that Java wasn't meeting all of my goals when one of my projects could have been implemented in a 10-line shell script instead of several times that much Java. This was back in the 1.1 days, before the 1.2 beta, and part of my dissatisfaction was also in the awkwardness of AWT. Of course, it was also before the language was retargeted at desktop development, then server-side development, and before Linux had "official" support.
After several years of Perl, I'm brushing up on Java again. Why? Secret work project.
I don't know that I'd do a big project in Java, but it's always good to exercise the ol' computer science brain by exploring some of the Other Ways To Do It.