Most light meters do read for a middle grey (18%, Zone V) for whatever they are pointed at. Some meters may be slightly different, though.

If you're just starting out, try metering and using the reccomended settings. I typically meter towards the shadows of the scene so there will be sufficient details on the negative in those areas.

Then just dial those settings in on the camera and go.

You may also want to try to bracket (expose some higher and lower than what the meter says), just to get a feel for what happens with exposure. You'll get the hang of it pretty quickly.