WordPress has a ton of options for how it displays posts and pages on your site. At first it can seem overwhelming, with CSS (Cascading Style Sheets-an element of HTML) and other options making different things different colors, sizes, etc. What you might want to do to cut down on the work of setting up your site is go here: The WordPress theme database. There are tons of themes available with different configurations of sidebars (those 1 or 2 columns on the left and right of your main posts area), navigation links (on top or on the left or right sides), and other customizable ways of doing your website. I would suggest looking around until you see something that looks sort of like what you want, then download it and add it to the folder wp-content/themes.
Heck, download as many as you want, WordPress doesn’t care how many you put in the themes folder. (BTW, make sure your theme is only one level deep in a folder inside the themes folder on your server, sometimes they zip the theme files inside a second folder inside their folder, they won’t appear in the Admin area if they are too deep inside folders) Once they are in that folder you can go to the Admin “Presentation” area theme section and change between the themes by clicking on a theme to make it your current theme. (If you also want to edit the files using the Theme Editor function in WordPress you need to set the file permissions properly for this, see this tutorial to get info on how to do that)
The thing to pay attention to is where things are and how the page overall looks, you’ll probably change the images and maybe some colors so don’t worry as much about that stuff. The skeleton of the page is most important. The theme tutorial series that will be up here soon will help you do the final tweaking to the theme to make it just what you want anyway.