Newbie to Linux

I have taken classes on Linux before, but have never really used it in my daily life. I would like to get to know Linux a lot better. I have heard of all the great things about Linux and would like to be part of the community. As i have been reading through some of the forums here, everyone seems extremely knowledgeable. I would just like some opinions on what somebody that is new to Linux should really do to dive into it? Any distros that someone would recommend? Should I partition part of my hard drive, use a vm, or a live disk? Thanks in advance and i'm looking forward to being part of the community!!