Maybe you could tell us a little more about what you are planning to use your VPS for? Without knowing what you want to do with it, it's a little hard to pick the best tool for the job.
In general though, I'd suggest learning some Linux command line basics and not using a control panel at all. The often end up to be more trouble than they're worth! There are plenty of great resources here at DigitalOcean and all over the web that should help you out.
Let us know how it goes!