It isn't fair to assume you are a young, "new person". I finished my last advanced degree when I was over 50. Take it slow. Patience. Apply that degree and plan for a long retirement sailing. Your personal experience will be your best advice so explore opportunities and get aboard as many boats as you can. The where?, with who?, for what?, etc. are all important variables. Remember there is a cost of ownership, too. It is a wonderful goal. This site is a wonderful resource. Keep the dream in focus and do it!
It isn't really spending money when you buy a boat if you buy right. You are just parking the money!