A couple of big things you can do, right now, to get ready:
Read the Glossary up in the right-hand corner of this site. That has all the common pattern abbreviations.
Learn to read your knitting. That is, learn to recognize a knit stitch, a purl, and a yarn over. I've seen beginners reduced to tears by ribbing because they cast on, say, 40, knit, two, purl two across, then can't figure out what to do on the next row because the pattern says to "knit the knits and purl the purls." If you know what the stitches look like, what to do is obvious.
You're going to make mistakes. Everybody does. It's only yarn. You can either fix the mistake or frog back and start over. The knitting police will not arrest you, and when your project is done, no one will ever know.
Not every project or technique will suit everyone. Some people despise doing ribbing or can't stand brioche stitch or don't like to use double-pointed needles. So what? Most of us don't need to make clothing to survive. We're doing it for fun. If it isn't fun, we don't have to do it. Also, no one is allowed to yell at you about your yarn choices.
When you're using a sweater pattern, "right side" and "wrong side" throw a lot of people, as do the abbreviations RS and WS. When they refer to the actual right and left sides of a cardigan, they're usually written out or otherwise clearly identified. Usually, "right" and "wrong" mean the face of your work that you mean for public view, versus the side that will be next to your body. Knowing which is the right side is crucial to some stitch patterns. Also, if you have to put your work down, you can remember you were halfway through a right-side row and you won't make the dreaded "got turned around in the middle of a row" problem. The solution is simple: put a stitch marker, safety pin or paper clip on the right side of your work so you won't forget. If you use a safety pin, and you know you're going to lay the work down for awhile, you can write a note--"Row 5 of pattern is done"--and stick it on the pin.