I got into cosplaying really, really casually, and I didn't get serious about it until I suddenly was and I didn't even realize it had happened. But if you're a planner like many people I know, you'll want to remember these things before you dive into cosplay! Let's go :)
1. There is no ideal cosplayer.
It doesn't matter what hair color, shape, size, gender, personality, eye shape, whatever you are! There is no idea cosplay body. There is no idea cosplayer. There isn't anything except whatever YOU create. That's the whole point :)
2. It can be expensive...
...but it doesn't have to be. You can spend a lot and make an ugly cosplay. You can spend a little and make something beautiful. It's all in the planning, the effort and the details! Don't let money be the reason you don't try to cosplay. See what your budget is, and you'll be able to make something happen.
3. Not everyone will like you
And that's totally fine! You're not doing this for everyone to like you. You're doing this to connect with those who DO love what you do!
4. Not everyone will recognize you
And that's totally fine, too! Do you recognize every anime out there? Didn't think so! Don't worry so much about this. Cherish those you do meet that recognize you--you have something in common!
5. It's SO TIRING
Seriously. Don't wear 80 layers at Otakon in the summer sun. You'll die (ok, not really). And don't wear the skimpiest cosplay in the winter. Again, you'll die. Give yourself breaks to eat and don't expect to do 4 cosplays in one day unless you're going to do ABSOLUTELY NOTHING ELSE.
6. Everyone was a beginner once
So don't worry about your "first cosplay" too much. It's just the beginning of this awesome hobby!!!
7. You should cosplay because YOU want to.
Don't be pressured into being a character you hate just because your friends want a full group. If you don't want to invest time and effort into it, then don't! If you want to be part of the group, then do. It's all up to YOU to decide! Cosplay is for your own expression.
8. It's all about your 'tude!
Regardless of whether you listen to my other tips, this one is the important one. Cosplay is what you make of it. Think positive, and you'll have a positive experience! Even if bad stuff comes up, think about how great it is that you've come as far as you have, and keep looking forward! Attitude is everything when it comes to having a good time in anything, and that goes for Cosplying, too!
So don't be afraid, just follow your heart!
@alexpinku always reminds me of that :)