I play a lot of Minecraft with my daughter. She always plays in Creative mode while I prefer Survival mode. After a couple of years I realize that I have a pattern that I follow that works in getting started.
Getting established is the first thing.
1. Go pound down a couple of trees and get some wood. Turn that would into boards and create a Crafting table.
2. Near where you started, Build a simple house. 5w x 5d x 3h is fine. Space is tight, so put your crafting table as one of the wall blocks. And don’t forget to give yourself a door.
3. Craft yourself some wood tools. (4) pickaxes, (2) shovels, (2) axes, (1) hoe.
4. Torches would be nice but without coal from mining, you can create coal from a wood block. If you can get (20) of them then you should be set.
So at this point you have a safe house and you can easily survive the night. Next up is getting food and upgrading your tools.
1. If you are lucky to have a lot of animals around (chicken, cow, etc) then go a hunting and get some food resources.
2. I always start out a basic farm plot so I can get some wheat. A 6 x 6 plot will do. Get some seeds by whacking a lot of grass. You need (36) of them to fill your plot. As you harvest them, they will give you wheat and in a pinch you can simply make bread to keep your food count high.
Once you have your food and your shelter covered you are now surviving. Gradually expand things and do more as you can. Since you don’t want to be outside at night, I typically mine in the evening and farm/hunt in the day.
I will typically mine from my house straight down in a spiral pattern. So my house becomes a mining shack. Once you start finding Coal and Iron you can really start to expand. Keep you mine well lit. If you skimp then you will be faced with Monster spawns.