Anon… if they recommended GENTOO as first distro, they were certainly your enemies
my relationship with Gentoo is love and hate; the compiling time is simply overkill, but customizing everything through the package manager in the way I want gives a huge power that I can't find anywhere. And holy cow, you managed to do it even without any knowledge on linux! Congrats!!
I started by Linux Mint, and literally I had my first linux™ problem in the INSTALLATION. It simply didn't wanted to install in EFI, and I didn't knew the difference of UEFI and Legacy Boot. It was a pain in the ass, had to mess a lot in the terminal
and I almost gave up on linux, but I managed to solve it simply by switching to legacy boot. It was on a shitty Lenovo that I still have, but it's near to it's death-
I don't know the exact order, and I distrohopped a lot
. These are the linux distros that I used: Linux mint, Arch, Lunar, Ubuntu, Gentoo, Funtoo, Slackware, MX Linux, Pop_OS!, partyvanora, OpenSUSE, Gecko, Void, Venom and Nobara.
Currently, I am using Debian Testing, because it just works; there is ton of guides, documentations and the .deb pkg is everywhere and easy to install.