I say screw every tip you get that says you need more gear. If you want to learn photography, then start off with your body and the kit lens. You don't need a tripod unless you feel a specific need for it. You don't need a Canon 70-200/2.8 IS unless you feel a need for it. If you got the 18-55 kit lens, then you have a good lens right there. Learn to use it, and learn to use your camera. You absolutely MUST understand the concept of aperture, shutter speed, ISO, depth of field, exposure. If you don't, then you're not better than any "snap shooter". Don't misunderstand me, I have nothing against snap shooters. Heck, I'm one of them myself. But if you want to take photos that are better than most others, then you need to THINK about what you're shooting and how you're shooting it.
Here are some links that I've found useful. Read them, and apply what you read. Take photo walks where you focus on one element of composition. Make rule of thirds to second nature. To be able to break the rules, you must understand them.