Haha, I saw a Lawnmower Blenny at Petco and was watching him for the longest time, and he wasn't even doing much. I thought he was so cool though! I decided right then and there that, no matter what, one day I would find a way to have one, hence building a tank up around the blenny. What I've read of them though only confirms that I want one.
I know the Lionfish are a lot more complicated, in a way, than other fish -- at least in the sense that they are legitimately dangerous -- but they're just so cool that I figured, if I'm going to venture into it anyways, I want to have one. Believe me though, proper caution will be used.
Yea, having the equipment beforehand is a major bonus. I, literally, only have a tank at the moment which, if at all possible, might turn into a sorority first. Aside from that though: nada. If I were you I'd definitely see if he could watch the tank during vacations -- a logical/rational argument is that way you have more time to focus on it when you are home compared to when you go back to school.
I likely have AD(H)D, so, yea, I'm in the same boat...I used to think snails were boring though (though only in aquariums, go figure) until I saw how fast they could actually move when they got going. Now? I'm contemplating getting Sharkfin a mystery snail tankmate, if not soon then eventually, haha.
It seems to me that saltwater's just like anything else: just do the research ahead of time, have some idea going into it, don't cut corners where you really shouldn't, and have some patience when doing things and you'll do a lot better. Sure, there's more involved, but I think the fact that it's a little more work and a bit more foreign to people accounts for a lot of why it seems so daunting. But, as we all know, and as I can more than attest to working at PetSmart, people don't do their homework beforehand in a lot of things they do when it comes to pets and probably especially aquariums.