I was 16 years old and had just bought my first SLR: a Konica TC-X, that I bought for use in a high school photography class. That camera traveled around the world with me, and brought me many hours of happy shooting. I used whatever was readily available for film, mostly Kodak consumer films with a fair amount of black & white for good measure. I used to work at a drugstore, so I got a small discount on my film processing. I still have that camera today.
1988 is the year I bought a brand new Minolta 7000 kit. I shot whatever colour film I could find and had negs and prints made in the lab. I still have some of the prints and I think my brother still has the camera somewhere. I had no access to a darkroom at the time.
I'm still using the same cameras as I did in 1988, I've only bought two since then a Canon EF body, and a new Canon F1 body, I don't like constantly changing cameras you can never operate them without thinking.