Little late to this topic but....
First off since you mention you are learning, do yourself a favor and if you really want to learn opengl, get yourself in a situation where you can limit the frustration of having to do setup code, and provide yourself with an environment that can help you debug. THIS IS NOT MAC OSX. Ubuntu or Windows + Clion or VS + GDEbugger + common support libraries like Glew, GLFW and SOIL help you get a window and load textures quickly (just a hypothetical example)
Also, as has been suggested before, there is very much an old way and a new way of doing things in OpenGL, and they have big implications on performance.
Luckily, An Nvidia guy has a github page that has sample code for the new way of doing things. I highly suggest you clone that repo and study it religiously.
That github page, paired with study of the opengl spec that describes the features in that code, will IMO be your best bet at learning opengl.
In a nutshell... the movement in the OpenGL API has been that of 0 driver overhead. That is, the application does some of what the driver usually does and thus the driver does less work, so you can really slim down the runtime graphics stuff.
Lastly, in the repo is a solution to packing multiple textured quads using (might not have the right names) ARB_BUFFER_STORAGE, SHADER_DRAW_PARAMETERS, BINDLESS_TEXTURE_ARB, SPARSE_TEXTURE_ARB, and MULTI_DRAW_INDIRECT. Again, the application is doing what the driver might do, thus reducing overhead. If you think of a draw call as packing data of similar objects as opposed to actually drawing a single object, you begin to see how the transition of old opengl to modern opengl is themed.