Answer by Tom Farrier:
I found it to be a friendly and forgiving little bird. It has enough power to get/keep you out of trouble; it has very docile stall characteristics that are easily recovered; it loves to make and maintain steep turns if you have your power set right; and, you have an excellent view of the runway over the glare shield and off to your side, the latter thanks to the high wing configuration.
A couple of practical things to think about:
1. Buy a kneeboard and learn how to organize stuff on it. There isn't much real estate in the cockpit for stowing things you need to have readily accessible.
2. See how your back feels after each flight. If you find you're getting achy, try a lumbar pillow. (Seat adjustment options aren't ideal for all heights and reaches.)
3. Save your pennies. Aviation gas is pricey, and most -172s are kind of thirsty.
4. Train in the fall or spring as much as possible; the cockpit environment isn't too easy to keep comfortable, and physiological distractions take your attention away from your training. If you have to pick summer or winter, do the latter and bundle up.