Well I did my first charcoal drawings in my Drawing I class and I learned it is super messy. I mean my shirt got wrecked, my pants got dirty, my arms, hands, everything. The charcoal is also very drying and my skin actually tightened up and felt uncomfortable during the three hour class. The professor said we could use gloves. I brought in a box of 500 gloves and donated it to the classroom's art supply closet.
After the charcoal experience in class I changed my clothing choices for drawing class. I wore black shirts or old shirts and dark denim jeans. We did some landscapes outside and it started to rain and my suede sandals got wrecked. So then I switched to my "rain sandals" which are the foam bottom sandals that water cannot ruin.
I had a hard time using charcoal around my house. I could not sit in bed or on the couch in the living room to draw. The kitchen table or outside was my choice.
As a result of black charcoal being such a mess to work with when given a choice of pencil or charcoal I chose pencil. However by the end of the class I was bored with the medium. I got a good feel for what the 2B, 4B, and 6B pencils could do so I was using those to do the various effects I wanted. Honestly though the charcoal is fun to work with regarding how it goes down on the paper and its ease of blending with a chamois.
One prof told us to use the same chamois for pencil and charcoal. After doing that the chamois seemed ruined and was not usable for pencil again. I don't like blending or the blended look so I am not a big chamois user anyway. I bought a second chamois that was just falling apart and leaving lint and bits all over my paper so I threw that in the trash. Then I bought a new one for the next semester though. We never did use the stumps to blend.
Oh and charcoal drawings will rub off over time unless they are fixed. Prof 1 told us to buy the cheapest hairspray we could find in an aerosol can, I got one for $4 in some brand I'd never heard of at the grocery store and used it. The spray fixatives contain neurotoxins so I prefer to stay away from them.