I've been cosplaying as far back as halloween costumes in my childhood, a lot of which I'm unfortunate to not have pictures of.
Now that I've been allowed to go to conventions since 2007, I always enjoy cosplaying! I think that going to conventions and meeting other people in costume is a great ice breaker-- which also met to me meeting my boyfriend at AX 2007.
Cosplay does get sort of expensive for a broke college kid, but I love the craft! Even when I buy the costume from out-of-country, I still HAVE to make props or do something else before I can truly call it my cosplay.
But when I do costumes by hand-- I can't sew. So this is cosplaying-- the lazy anime fan's way. Fabric glue and duct tape do wonders!