hmm i have been wanting to make a post regarding the subject on hand. I suppose for me this is an opportunity to explain my view.
I have recently graduated from college with a Degree in Computing with games development, throughout my course i was thought to use Java as the main language and was familiarised with design patterns and principles. Ever since then when ever i feel like making a game i get caught in a web of thoughts that usually paralyse me from programming. I am one of these people who spend more time thinking than actually using the time to do something productive and when this year started i said i was going to design a game, but it had to be in Java and it was to not include any libraries or API's outside of the standard Java API
I have yet to begin to be honest, every time i have sat down and wondered where to begin i actually find myself coming to this site for inspiration and have even copied and pasted Eli Delventhal's game loop as a start, but then i encounter issues first of all trying to understand why this recommended loop is better and how i can move stuff on screen without the graphics glitch you get when you don't clean up after a move, where do i go from here, what about making the code more robust so it adheres to design priniciples, at this point then i find myself stuck in my little web of confusion and get no where. So to answer the question posed by the thread starter, no i can't. I wish i could but i find myself trying to juggle between creating the most robust game ever and spending hours trying to understand why this works and why that doesn't.
I don't dat feeling bro. If you're just starting out and you want to make a small game, I think you shouldn't really care about performance. Just code stuff the way you can't. Now what I will say I'm not saying, because I think I'm better, but since I made few games already I think I can talk about it. If you think I'm wrong, I have nothing against it.
Since you're saying you graduated from college, that doesn't mean you can just make a game. You really need to put a lot of effort to make something. Even if you know "principles" and "techniques" from college, I doubt you can just make a game out of them. When I was making my first game, it took huge amount of time for a very shit game. It wasn't even a game. You couldn't do anything in it. But I just kept doing stuff and I can just feel that I'm getting better. Problems that were once hard and confusing are so simple I don't even need to think about them. However, now other problems are rising, but on the whole new level. My suggestion would be not to get caught up in that "web of thoughts" and just do something.
Here is my favorite quote about game development (Probably the only one I know !
(Something along those lines) "If you want to make games, just make games" - Notch
If you need some kind of inspiration, check out Notch coding stuff for ludum dare.. When I lose the will do something I just take a look at the and bam... I don't even notice how myself, but there I'm working again!