Hey! I'm 17 and I just became a catechumen yesterday! So we're sort of in the same situation, though I am in the OCA.ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€š Anyways,ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€š it is a bit odd that he didn't mention you being a catechumen, but I don't think(though I could be wrong) it is a big deal as the catechumenate is not as formal as it used to be, like the rite to make someone a catechumen is no longer used.ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€š I just became a catechumen by asking the priest, he said great, and now I'm a catechumen!ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€š As for the amount of time between this meeting with the priest and your baptism, well, that varies from person to person and you should trust that the priest made the right decision.ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€š It all depends on how much you already know.ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€š For example, I had already read a lot of books, was already keeping the fasts, and already had a prayer rule, and had been attending services for 3 months, so my catechumenate will only be 5 months.ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€š
It doesn't matter what other people think.ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€š It is what the priest thinks that counts, he knows what is best, not some random person at coffee hour.ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€š
Confirmation(or more properly, chrismation) always immediately follows baptism.ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€š It's not like Western churches where the two are separated.
You just have to get out there and introduce yourself. Say something like "Hi, I don't think we've met yet, my name is _______." or something.ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€š Getting to know people in the parish is essential, Orthodoxy is NOT an individualistic religion.ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€š I think you'll find that most people are generally friendly, just you might need to make the first move in getting to know them(and I know this is hard, but it gets easier).
As for your original question "What is a catechumen?": A catechumen is just someone who has officially decided that Orthodoxy is the true faith and that they will join the church. By becoming a catechumen, you agree to(or at least, I had to agree to): 1)Attend services regularly, 2) Maintain the prayer rule that you devised with the priest, 3) Meet with the priest regularly for catechesis and guidance, and 4) Keep the fasts of the church. It also means that you have a definite date for being received into the church, and that if you were to die before being received into the church, you could have an Orthodox funeral.
Ask the priest to help you find a sponsor.
With all this advice though, keep in mind that I only became a catechumen yesterday, so I could be way off here....
Congratulations on your decision to become Orthodox though! I'll be praying for you!