figured it out!
I posted about the big loop at the end of my row. I figured it out! for anyone else who may be brand new and also having this problem: I was pulling my stitches way too tight. So now what I do is knit 2-3, and then kind of pull on my knitting that I just did (as suggested above to straighten out the yarn) and it works! SO thanks for the suggestion, and now I finally got past a row! Yay, project!