Welcome to Sailnet! I'm a recent owner of a 1984 Catalina 25. They are fun boats, and are great "first boats", but I'd suggest learning to sail on something else first. As others have suggested, I'd go with something smaller. I learned to sail on a 14' American
, and they are fun boats. I am hearing impaired and wear hearing aids, so capsizing is a concern for me (electronics and water don't really mix that well). I always felt safe in the American, even when we pushed it a bit. I haven't actually played in a Laser, Hobie, etc., but I'd bet they are fun, too. The big thing(s) with the smaller boats is that you get a better feel for how to sail, and fixing any mistakes is typically a lot less expensive than in bigger boats. For me, the most significant thing about the move to the 25 (which I've sailed all of 5 times now) is the inertial difference - I'm moving an almost 5000 lb object in a (somewhat) frictionless environment without any brakes. It was much easier to learn on a 350lb boat.
Another suggestion, which is probably contrary to what others here will give, is to not pay much for the first boat. If you enjoy sailing, you may find that you want to move up to the C25 (or larger) fairly quickly. A limited cash outlay up front will make it easier to sell the first boat (or justify keeping it when you buy the bigger one).