1. Ask yourself why do you want a snake? They are really a wild animal you are trying to domesticate. Do you think they want to live in a confined space in a mostly unnatural environment? Reptiles have very different requirements to other pets, and is a privilege not right. There are regulations on a state-by-state basis, they you need to make yourself aware of.
2. Understand your snake. Choose a beginner snake. Different snakes, different conditions. You need to do a great deal of research to find what will suit you and your snake best.
3. Reptiles are not cuddly: They are beyond the cute and cuddly. They may tolerate the human touch at times but do not crave human contact and are not affectionate. So basically handling them is against their will. They are basically solitary, are not into crowds or loud noises. If you think showing your snake off in a social environment is the thing to do, think again. It is downright cruel!