They are supposed to grind, grind and grind to earn ISK, so they could buy better ship & gear and loose it, so they have to grind, grind and grind again. That’s the main idea of this game.
Or grab your wallet and pay real cash for PLEX and other overpriced stuff in shop, so you can speed up the process of obtaining ship & gear, and then you can loose it.
Ah, EVE Online - a wonderful and encouraging virtual world with microtransactions and developers who are obsessed with the idea of chaos and destruction, ignoring the opinions and criticism of their clients and, by the way, failing to implement into this game the new mechanisms they invented themselves.
Warping straight up to a hole is never a good idea. Warp at distance and gather some visual intel. Possible trouble, or things you have no info on ? Warp out, look it up, use google as your life jacket.
And beware those wormholes that are announced on your overview by a beacon. Those have quite aggressive Drifters hanging around.
The basic reflex should always be to look stuff up before you warp into something you know nothing about yet. Especially for new players that will prevent some unnecessary losses. Also, there is no barrier between higher level content i.e., lethal stuff, and content for rookies. You can stumble upon certain doom at any time if you don’t prepare.
If you provide the names of some of the rats, people could help you define what they were.
As Wadiest said, warping right in to things can be deadly. Warp to quite a distance away until you’re more confident (50-100km). That should give you time to look around while aligning with a distant object, and warp out if needed. Warping in at 80km and warping back out and back in again seems clunky, but it’s quite a bit faster than getting blown up and re-shipping.
For “how do we afford to start”, running any set of Career Agents (there are 12 sets, 3 for each faction) will net you about 10 million ISK or so and a variety of ships. Generally enough to buy and fit out a decent cruiser or several exploration/scanning ships. Run some missions or do some relic/data sites or run some combat anomalies for more cash until you have enough for a BC.
Then be very careful with your BC because they’re nowhere near as indestructible as people sometimes feel they are when they get in their first one.
…and yet…so many players have done that and much more over the years since EvE showed up in 2003…and often in times when isk was harder to get than it is these days…
Pretty much seek the “work smarter not harder” principle.
For starters, mission rewards are really not where the money in missions is. Buying things in that faction’s loyalty point store with the loyalty points you earn and then selling them on the market will earn you far more than grinding for just the mission rewards. Also, as mentioned above, bounties from the pirate npc you destroy make you more isk than the mission rewards. Often much more.
Go do the Sisters of Eve Epic Arc with your cruiser (starting asgent sister alitura in arnon system) and the career agents.
Then when you are ready (player-skill-wise almost more importantly than skillpoint-wise) do level 3 missions.
Also, do keep in mind that there are many other things to do in EvE besides missions if you wanted.