All I remember is that from lvl 1-20 I was getting DESTROYED, veteran mobs were impossible. I wasn't familiar with dodging mechanic (fresh WoW player anyone?) and the weapons you start off with (scepter+focus I think?) are fairly short-range. Things got a lot easier once I was lvl 20+, grabbed a staff and learned to kite...but it's still fairly easy to get squished if you're not careful. Meanwhile all the heavy classes can just face-tank/heal incoming damage (hardly ever dodging) and the other ranged classes have tons of mechanics to kite, CC, pet tanks/clones, etc.
Overall Ele really wasn't the glass-cannon "mage class" I was expecting at all, more like a glass-meh. I needed to work a harder to get the most out of abilities, long cooldown timers between attunements felt like a massive hindrance (other classes can just faceroll with a 2-3 abilities), I needed to dodge/kite a lot more, and the damage output really didn't compensate for all that shit.
It was only later when I rolled an Engineer I realized I was outputting the same fucking damage with my rifle's AUTO ATTACK on top of having the perfect kiting tools (knockback + immobilize on short CD)...all with 1 weapon. If you want a much easier class to level, try literally any other class...Ele is just flat-out unforgiving and frustrating to start off GW2 with.
(Off-topic: Ele is also absolutely miserable in PvP right now, voted by far the worst class by most of the community).