With friendship comes a bond between two people. Like we learn in chemistry, this bond can be strong or weak, but this bond serves as an undeniable bind between you and that other person for as little as a week, or as long as a decade. In friendship, one finds comfort. In friendship, one finds sorrow. And in best-friendship, one finds an infrangible, indestructable tie which only God can break apart. 


Best friends often come in the form of blessings, and I can gleefully state that I must have been showered with good fortune as I have three best friends who I love and adore more than anything the universe could offer me. Yesterday afternoon was a memorable one as it was the belated 16th birthday celebration of one of my best friends (Aamna); her birthday was on the 4th of December, but due to her living quite some distance away we agreed to meet on the 14th. Little did she know that a surprise was charging up to her at full speed; a secret myself and my other best friend (Saima) managed to hide for nearly 2 and a half months. Since the October half-term, myself and Saima had been toiling labouriously over Aamna's present, which we decided would be a handmade scrapbook (by us, of course) filled with our precious memories and our cherished years of knowing her; we sincerely felt she would revere this possession more than anything we could have bought her. 

This brings me on to my next point: whilst exploring the worlds of Pinterest and Instagram in search for aesthetic yet poignant 16th birthday presents, I was met with the same result every time. 

'Engraved Bracelets!' or 'Personalized Gift Box!'

Where's the sentiment in that? A 16th birthday is a symbolic time in a person's life; here, they step over the threshold into mini-adulthood as they prepare to leap into society in a few year's time. Those who are lucky enough to stand by a person as they dive into the future should provide them with something purposeful and sentimental. Whilst I appreciate that some people would savor a new gold wristwatch or some fancy new tech, let me ask you this: where would those gifts be in 3 years time? Under the bed, given to charity or rotting in a landfill somewhere - that's the answer to that. Instead of falling into the materialistic enchantment society has weaved us into, why not break the norms and get your friend something which she or he will truly cherish for decades to come? A scrapbook like we did, or an experience they'll never forget: I can give my seal of approval that they would relish them 1000 times more than a hasty Pandora bracelet you bought last week. 


Time and effort we put into gifts. It means the world to them. The people we love. So go, make your friend that scrapbook and toss your temporal thinking aside.


As Sting Eucliffe once said: 'If you're empty, you just gotta start filling yourself with happy memories. Its not like you were alone the whole time right?'


By Duniya Jan