The way of understanding opamps is complex I'm a trainee in 3rd year and we went step by step from electrons and protons to complex schematics, components, maths.Are you kidding? 555 timers are an excellent introduction to ICs for newbies, and are most certainly NOT "too complex"
I just wanted to say you cannot fly before you learn it. But IDK if there are NE555 kits for newbies. With one of those it's possible ofc.
Since NE555 has the most basic external circuit under the opamps