If you'd like to know more about me, then please just click my SL profile (you can do that from Search>People). This page isn't about me as such, it's intended to help newbies, as there isn't an easily-available, single-source, widely-known resource to help new arrivals. This is a great pity, as newbies have so much to deal with (I vividly remember my first few days!), that a good single source of help ought to exist to provide answers to those 'oh so common' newbie questions.
So, this is my general advice to new arrivals, based purely on my own experiences.
1. Appearance Whatever your reasons for joining SL, you will want to shed your newbie look as soon as possible. So completing the Edit Appearance tutorial should be high on your To Do list. You can make literally 000's of changes to your body shape, skin, hair, etc, using a set of fine-tuning controls in Edit Appearance mode. But, please be aware...
2. Buying a shape or a skin ...you can undo all your hours of work by putting on a new 'skin' which can be obtained FREE in many SL shops or freebie warehouses. So Rule #1 - always save your Edit Appearance changes. The best way to do this is to click the Make Outfit button in Edit Appearance. The Make Outfit button is very useful - you can use it not just to create clothing outfits, but also to save different versions of yourself. To save your shape and skin, just check those boxes in Make Outfit, uncheck the clothing boxes, and give your shape a name. It will be saved into your Clothing folder in your Inventory.
3. Wearing clothes You can find a general set of clothing in the Library folder (bottom of your Inventory). This holds clothing and shapes for all the default SL avatar shapes.
(i) you can right-click any item of clothing and choose Wear from the menu. (ii) you can drag an item of clothing onto your avatar. (iii) you can drag an entire outfit you saved in your Clothing folder onto your avatar.
Clothing has special properties - it will 'wrap' itself around your avatar, so if you have a dramatically different avatar shape in your Inventory, the same item of clothing can be used on either shape without needing to be refitted.
4. What happened to my first island? Where am I? When people start in SEcond Life, they always do Orientation until they have mastered a few essentail skills. However, some people bypass this altogether, while others may find themselves unable to return if they went to Help Island in the middle of orientation. So, if you find yourself suddenly on a grassy knoll, surrounded by a exotic-looking avatars all chatting happily away to each other, you have probably got to Orientation Island Public which is in Second Life itself. This is an educational resource available to all residents at any time. And once you are out of your own orientation island, there is no way back except for Mentors and Lindens.
But hey - relax! You can do all the tutorials in Orientation Island Public at your own pace and speed; you can meet new friends there, many of them experienced and established residents; Help Island Public is a short fly away to the West, where more help is available plus free shopping to get you started, and another chance to learn about SL.
5. Where do I get money? Another very common question. Actually, it is possible to live in Second Life with no money at all, or to get by on very little. There are freebie shops and freebie warehouses which you can use your Search button to find. If you are building or getting a home, then money is a consideration of course. So here are a few ideas of how to get Linden dollars.
(i) low pay You can actually get paid for doing nothing in SL! Well, for doing nothing more than sitting in a chair or dancing on a special dance pad. Owners of new clubs or attractions need 'traffic' to their places (nothing worse than a place where no-one goes!) and are perpared to make small payments - typically a few dollars per hour - if residents are prepared to come along and sit or dance on their "premises". And look out too for money trees, with low-value bills among the leaves, or maybe fruit that pays out money. (ii) medium pay You can get work as a nightclub dancer or as an escort. This is often work that is of a "sexual" nature, though it is up to you how far you take it. As well as your basic pay, there are tips too, which can boost your earnings. (iii) higher pay You can be quite well paid for competing surveys. These are usually based at special ATMs, and involve you giving your email address and answering questions that are consumer- or market-research based. (If you are going to do these, I strongly recommend that you get a special hotmail email for the purpose, as you may well end up getting spam). And, of course, you can buy Linden dollars with your own cash. The exchange rate varies, but you should be able to get around 250 L$ for 1 USD.