I first was interested in Buddhism at the age of 15, but actually started meditating that year with Hindu yogis from India.
For some time, I practiced in a Japanese school of Buddhism but after seven years but I realized I had joined a cult. That was very disappointing. Not only did they never meditate, but their practice consisted solely of chanting one mantra. When I asked about emptiness, for example, they would just tell me that this was not important.
Later I found myself attending the Zen Center in my community, and then I would periodically attend the insight meditation Center in my city. The one day I met a Tibetan teacher and I realized that this was my path.
There is a somewhat mystical or maybe even silly belief in the Dharma community that one finds oneself exactly where one should be.
I have found that many Catholics and Jews seem to enjoy the Tibetan practices, probably because of the ritualistic aspects. Who knows. It is not necessary to know everything about each school, for example, because the basics of Buddhism are 1, to be compassionate and loving towards all sentint and beings, and 2, a belief in awakening: that is to say that we can recognize our own true nature, the awakened state, or enlightenment.
Whichever path you choose, all you have to do is walk that path and practice. Some individuals are more cerebral, and enjoy reading, deliberating philosophy, and other "academic" endeavors, and they may find themselves enrolled in a Tibetan University for 12 years, in order for them to obtain the equivalent to a doctoral degree, called a GESHE.
As such,you may meet a Tibetan teacher who will be referred to as "Geshe-la," an honorific title which denotes that he has received a PhD in Tibetan studies. most monks and nuns in University, at least in the Tibetan system, will study for many years.
I wish you the best in your search for awakening.