I am using EDB and stepping through the program but I do not even know what the difference in behavior is when doing this. I feel like this is something I should know if I ever have hope of reverse engineering this program.
gdb terms (and commands) are
next and the difference is that
step continues to run until it changes line of source code, while
next doesn't trace into a subroutine, but rather skips over it. The
nexti commands are similar but operate at the machine instruction level rather than source code level. Read more in The Fine Manual.