Dashboard not "loading" no activation, no sidebar etc

This is day one for me – I am pulling my hair – I finally got wordpress loaded into a subfolder. I put the wpmu-dev updates folder into the content/plugins folder – when I refresh the wordpress site – nothing happens – I dodn’t see anything on the sidebar – nothing that isnt just the basic wordpress. There is NO plugin tab everything just says “go to plug in” – this doesn’t exist!!