Since you're a broke college student and I'm sure your budget isn't generous, I think that if there is a local store you can buy at you might want to go look. By the time you pay shipping, you might be paying more than you have to. Circulars are great but if you want to start with something *cheap* there is nothing wrong with straight needles. I wouldn't go with 60"ers for starting, that's way too much cable to mess with. I don't think our WalMart carries bamboo needles, stores like Michael's, JoAnn, Hobby Lobby, or Ben Franklin will.
You can't knit the left sock first. Ever.