Well, apparently I'm a lot older than most on this board. I used firearms for more than 25 years before hearing protection came into vogue. (Police postals, daily range sessions, and club matches - everything, and all the time!) Got some hearing damage from this; but, I guess I'm lucky because it really ain't too bad.
You want to use a pair of ear muffs with an NRR of, at least, 27 dB. (Mine are 30 dB.)
Going back a lot of years I still remember when my recently returned Marine Corps uncle handed me his 45 acp pistol and told me to shoot it. I was so excited after firing that big 1911 Government Model, I couldn't sleep that night. When my uncle went to work, I'd take that big 1911-A1 out of his drawer, unload it, and practice taking it apart. Before I was 12 years old, I could COMPLETELY disassemble and reassemble a Colt GM all by myself.
Too much recoil? That's like saying, too much woman! (Just kidding!)
Fact is, you are in serious need of professional training. I'd suggest you contact the NRA and get the names of several certified pistol instructors in your area.
Contrary to what you presently believe: The 45 acp does NOT have too much recoil. Personally, I prefer to work with the slow heavy push from a 45 acp pistol rather than the hard fast crack of other calibers like 40 S&W, or 357 SIG. I specialize in high speed pistol shooting; and, the 45 acp is my preferred caliber of choice. If I use anything else, then, I have to consciously think about it; but, not with a 45 acp.
At your tender age and level of limited experience, perhaps, a nice 9mm pistol might, indeed, be the right way to go. I think you'll find that, in the years ahead, you will either master the gun, or the gun will master you. My own suggestion would be for you to get yourself some professional training, now, before those imaginary gun myths or that fear of pulling the trigger have a chance to lock themselves into your psyche.
It's been my own experience as a firearms instructor that once the bad habits are in place, they're ever so much more difficult to get rid of; and, if you keep those bad habits around for long enough even, 'Houdini, the magic pistol instructor' isn't going to be able to get rid of them for you.
If I had to choose only one handgun caliber out of all handgun calibers on this planet, that one handgun caliber would be 45 acp. Don't knock the 45 acp; it's the best of the very best pistol calibers to work with everyday and under a variety of different conditions. In the hands of a genuinely competent pistolero you won't even see the muzzle rise as he clicks them off - And, that's the truth! Like I said: You need training. Good luck to you!
Here's a great place to begin: NRA Training
ADDED: One last thing! I just noticed this on rereading your initial post: Do NOT save up to buy a G-17C. It'll, probably, turn out to be the wrong pistol for you. Instead save up to get a G-34.
I think you'll have a much easier time handling and actually shooting it; AND, if you should choose to do so, later on, you'll be able to more readily use it in different, 'gun games' and pistol competitions.