You listen to some Hams and they are literally manic obsessive in their belief that you must literally do all the traditional stuff, earn your stripes, then explore the new stuff they are too scared to recognise let alone venture with the shadow distance of.
Don’t ignore them, they are still good sources of inspiration and ideas and motivation, just don’t let their hobby define your interest.
Example I can cite at a previous ARC, how one young impressionable newcomer who had a passing interest in HF, more VLF really, but his practical route of interest at the time was 2m upwards (he wasn’t aware of the 6m and 4m allocations), so signed up for the novice classes for it’s practical value to taste HF and see where he’d go from there.
Unfortunately, before the days where there were nominated tutors, he got dumped on a veteran op, who had every ex-service psych scar imaginable, zero tolerance of anything bar his window on ham radio, and had a Golden Gate bridge sized chip in his shoulder about newcomers of the IC and transistor era.
I won’t put the words on here to describe the ■■■■ he endured, but one day short of taking his exam, he disappeared like he never existed. I later discovered he developed a bit of a radio phobia, because of the indoctrination who the club’s Josef Mengele had driven into him and used him as test guinea pig on how best to drive off the unworthy - who happened to be his mentor and assessor.
Now that’s an extreme example of how not to encourage and embrace newcomers and their varied interests levels. Part of why I left was partly because I was at war with that same veteran ham because of his disregard of others and his impact on the newcomers and when the committee and members who fear crossing him close ranks, it’s game over.
The crazy bit - it destroyed a highly diverse interest, some of what the newcomer wanted to try back then was compared to Dark Magic by many hams and yet, was as valid a special interest experimental venture as anything they ever tried
Don’t end up being a shadow of that poor newbie, do what interests you in your hobby and be damned to the ‘proper ham radio‘ indoctrinators out there.
If you can do within the scope of your license, harmlessly and be considerate of other radio users, then do and maybe you’ll be the person that destroyed newbie could have become.