@TheDrake- I'm going to have to disagree with you. I have a Corn Snake and a Bearded Dragon and the Beardie is 10x harder to care for than the snake. Beardies have need very specific lighting, a varied diet, multiple kinds of feeder insects, specific supplements, and usually they need more room than most easy snakes. Plus, there's no reason someone cant start with snakes if that is what they are interested in.
@Warbler- Some common beginner snakes are Corn Snakes, King Snakes, Spotted Pythons, Western Hognoses, and Milk Snakes, but that doesn't mean you can't get an Irya Jaya Carpet Python, as they aren't the trickiest of snakes and don't grow too large. I don't have personal experience with them, but your best bet on care would be looking up online care sheets and visiting forums dedicated to snakes, pythons, or Carpet Pythons. Here is a good sheet to start off with- http://www.reptilesmagazine.com/Care...on-Care-Sheet/
Some general advice: use an under-tank heater, ALWAYS use a thermostat, invest in a good thermometer, and get an animal that is already eating frozen thawed food.
On the subject of food, most people only use one type of feeder, and their snakes get it according to their size. My juvenile girl is feed every 5 days, but when she is an adult she will be fed every other week. Usually Carpet Pythons eat rats, which are very easy to find frozen that you can thaw and reheat.
It depends on the snake what you can and cannot house them in. Snakes that need higher humidity don't do well in aquariums, but snakes with normal or lower humidity do fine. You can also use plastic bins from Walmart or Target that are appropriately sized and have holes drilled into them for ventilation. Many companies produce premade cages that you can order and they are usually very good at keeping in heat and humidity. Animal Plastics is one of the largest companies and they have a large array of available designs.
My mother isn't fond of reptiles either and my father won't go near my snake, but for the most part it isn't an issue. They mainly stay in my room and only come out if I'm hanging out with them in the living room or if guests want to see them, but this is pretty rare. I've found exposure is the bast way for people to get over their fear, but they have to want
to overcome their fear. Originally my mom shouldn't even touch my Beardie, but now see likes to feed him collard greens and has even held my snake. Just offer him an out of sight out of mind deal with the chance to get up close and personally if he chooses, but don't force interaction. The worse thing you can do for someone that doesn't like snakes or other reptiles is force them to be near them when they don't want to.
Lastly, are you going to college soon? Will you be living in a dorm? Please be aware that snakes take up a lot of space, and you're potentially looking at a 3 or 4 foot cage, which wouldn't fit well in a dorm room. Also, snakes live 15-20 years on average, so you need to make sure that you'l have the time, money, and room to house a snake far after college is over.