<---- solo girl. tents are marvelous things I think. They can be both a big room, and temporary house, and then just roll up into a bag. It always amazes me how big my apartment seems when I get back from a camping trip longer than a few days. The indoor space seems to go on, and on, compared to my tent. I can stand up straight, and walk around, and be indoors! Truthfully, I haven't attempted dust prevention yet by covering the mesh in my tent. Maybe I'll get around to it this year. It gets dusty in there, but I don't spend a lot of time in the tent, and I keep all my bedding, and clothes, well bagged up. I don't have any storage space to speak of at my home, but my tent and shade shelter fit into the closet in my apartment, along with all my other camp gear. Compactability is a feature very important to me. I am currently singing the praises of the North Pole Party Shade shelter, see other threads. The playa likes a rounded, or multi faceted, shape to spill wind around. Despite being branded as common, or dull, the dome tent is a great shape for the wind conditions, and most are easy to set up as well. See if you want to be able to stand up inside a tent. I insist on that feature, but it was a long line of upgrades to finally find what I liked best. I agree with Anti-M... go camping! borrow a tent, try it out. Setting up different tents is a lot of variations on the same themes. How the poles attach, where the stakes and guy ropes might go etc. Find out what your limits are for sleeping surfaces... air mattress, inflatable foam like thermarest, cot. I like a cot, sleeping off the ground at sitting height with a thermarest. do you need to cook, or do you just need to make coffee? Some may say that making coffee isn't even necessary... but that's where I draw a firm line. Self reliance means I make coffee. Finally if you don't figure yourself as a camper, why spend a bunch of money on camping gear? It has to last a week, and duct tape and rope (if you don't know knots, use lots) and kind handy types of neighbors can cobble together almost any piece of crap for a week. Certainly a tent and shade shelter can fit in a small truck, or just get a mattress and sleep in the truck, and hang a tarp off the side for personal shade. Look at pictures and see how easily it can be done.
Little Flower has mentioned it, and I agree the phenomenon that cannot be underestimated is how much fun you'll be having. This "fun" element will take all the edges off most of what you are anticipating as discomfort, or unease, from heat, dirt, wind, camping, having arrived on your own, etc. You aren't going to spend your most memorable (alright strike that, could happen...) moments in your tent. Most likely you will be out on the playa, bug eyed and giggling at everything around you, dancing, talking, and laughing.