I am a brand new knitter and have had the same problem. Twice in the past I have knitted a square and always gave up because the ends looked bad. Well, I just decided to stop making little practice sqaures and I make a scarf. I found a super easy free pattern and felt better about the whole thing because I was actually making something "for real". I used chunky yarn and it was much more forgiving (I really can't tell if my ends are good, bad or otherwise!
). I am just waiting for my tension to improve over time. Thanks to the pp for the good tips!