Veterans, how did you get into D&D? Did you have any preconceptions about it as well?
I've been interested in it for a while, but the first time I really got into the scene was...actually a long story that I no longer really remember why I was there. All I remember was that my current boyfriend was with me at the time, despite the fact that this was many years ago. It was a 3.5e game, since the other versions weren't a thing yet, and I wound up getting to play both as a Druid (with a hell of a mouth!) that had a boa constrictor for a animal companion and a Monk, with both of them being adoptive sisters. I was legit allowed to get away with the Monk being allowed to recognize Druidic, if not understand it because of that. Said GM also gave me permission, despite the fact that their alignments would not have allowed for it at the time, to allow my two characters to cross class into the other's class. Druid/Monk duo, wouldn't that be a scary thought?
The funny story of that game, however, wasn't something that happened ingame, but out of game. I wound up having to share a cot with one of the dudes, that wasn't my boyfriend (you bet I kept my clothes on). I had got up to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night and the man I was sharing with rolled...
...and I wound up running out after hearing a THUD!! That dude woke up to probably the rudest awakening ever by suddenly having his face meet the wall.
The best way to learn is to play a game with the manuals open for reference, in my experience. In fact, character creation REQUIRES it, cause the mechanics are just too complicated to memorize.
Oh, ye gods, can I amen to that...
Also, I've played a few games to already have a 'default' character idea incase I don't have enough time to scheme a character, specifically my Noble-born Wild Magic Sorcerer/Divination Wizard. 'gives a grin'