KM4OLT - Mike's Ham Home
Ham operators have to have a license in order to broadcast on the air. I said broadcast. Many people initially do a lot of listening to find out what kind of conversations go on as well as see what data is transmitted. But geting licensed isn't that difficult or expensive.
One of the hardest things is finding others in your area that you can relate to with your hobby. Some people are loners and even many hams are comfortable on the air but in person are quite shy. One of the first things is finding a club. Club meetings can be very boring and you feel lost and out of place at first but hang in there. Go to the ARRL website and do a club search.
I say attend at least 4 club meetings. Many clubs like to do introductions. Let them know that you're just starting out and hope to find someone to help get you going. It may take a couple of meetings for them to feel comforatable approaching you too. Also get to know the president of the club and their email address. Express to them what you're needing. Don't expect the first couple of meetings to have people swarming. It takes effort on your part as well to open up. But as things progress you will find more and more will start to talk to you. Even if you're young don't feel out of place. Many of the older hams started out like you. But with their age comes a ton of experience and knowledge and can help you out with about any problem you run across.
Find other hams in your area - the QRZ GridMapper is great to see how many hams live in your area and where. Besides talking to a club this is a good way to find hams that you can possibly find to relate to and get to know one another. Register on the site and if you need to look up your call sign and find out what grid your own. Then go to the grid mapper and enter your grid information. Then you can zoom in and see who is around you. You can hover over the email address and see what their email is and try to reach out. Might be a neighbor or at least someone fairly close. That way they're not only close on the radio but close physically that you might be able to visit one anothers radio shack.