It might discourage a new knitter, or it might not. If the new knitter chooses to do an afghan, it's not the same as being told you will do an afghan...or dishcloth...or scarf. Afghans can be very small or extremely large too. I did a two color striped scarf, played with a textured stitch pattern that came with some cotton yarn, decided knitting wasn't for me, then went right to a hooded button front cardi with set in pockets when my grandson wanted a new sweater from me. It all depends on what an individual chooses to do. There is always lots of help and encouragement here too.
Somewhere else on these forums, someone observed that new knitters are going for the larger and more complicated projects sooner than what had been the rule in the past. Maybe it's because it keeps us interested? Now I like to knit wash cloths and dish rags. Fortunately there are no rules as to what one must do first and in what order things must be learned.
JesaGrace, whatever you decide to knit first, enjoy and know there is always a place to come to for help, support, and encouragement. Let us know, please how you're coming along with your new knitting skills.