Hello! New member here! So I've finally picked up something I've been wanting to play ever since I was little - the guitar. I'm not currently taking any lessons, and I'm a complete newbie. My father actually bought me a guitar recently for Christmas. It's an off brand guitar that we got with an amp for $100 even. The brand is something called a "Carlo Robelli." Never heard of it, but I figure that if I'm truly committed to the guitar, I'll buy a better one in a year's time.

Anyways, what does it take to become a somewhat good guitarist? I'm only playing as a personal hobby, and I'm not really looking to become a band member. I just want to be able to jam along to my favorite songs while they play. I've had it for a little over a day or two, and I've already memorized some scales and basic chords! I've tried playing some songs, but I still need to work on moving between the strings and picking the right string (sometimes I pick the string above or below the one that I want).

I've played musical instruments in my orchestral band at high school before I graduated, but I didn't carry on playing anymore into college. I have a basic understanding of music theory, but only in bass lines (I played the tuba in high school). I've heard that many people say that guitar takes many many years in order to become good at it. Why is that? In my experience many people were pretty proficient with their instruments after about two years in my orchestra class yet I see people say that they're still not good with guitar after nearly two and half years!

If that's the case, what does it come down to in order to be proficient at guitar?
I have the same question, except I do not own a guitar nor have I ever played or taken lessons
"Proficient" when applied to your question is a very subjective term. What does proficient mean to you and how much do you want to learn? I have been studying and practicing a couple of hours a day for 14 months now. I have also spent a lot of time studying the fret board and music theory because I hope to play jazz someday. At this point in time I am able to move between the basic open chords, I am able to read and play basic music notation, I have brushed the surface of learning the fretboard, and have spent the last 5 months trying to get a handle on 6th string barre chords of which now I am just starting to be able to do. What has it taken? A ton of patience and a ton of practice. Do I consider myself proficient? Far far from it.