2000 pontiac sunfire 90K mi- starting problems

I recently purchased 2000 sunfire 90K mi.
It seems to have a very highy clutch which im not used to...
so sometimes i end up stalling the car in first gear.
but when that happens, car doesnt restart at the first turn of the key. it struggles for a bit then it starts.
is this normal behaviour of the car?
also. when i change the gears into 1st and 2nd, i can hear slight grinding noise under that car. is this normal? or is the clutch going bad?
thanks for any thoughts
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