By G.P. Avants
Welcome back everyone to 1985 in the not too sleepy town of Hawkins Indiana. Summer is in full
swing and Mike and his friends are growing up. With July 4th just around the corner love, adventure, and something dark and sinister is coming along with an 80’s soundtrack.
A year before our events that introduced the world to the Upside Down , the Russians were already trying to breach into alternate realities. In their discoveries they found a thin spot in the world underneath the very feet of a certain midwestern shopping mall.
No surprise that Mike and El are dating. Hopper is now in the role of a single dad struggling to raise a
teen girl. He is emotionally distraught and asks Joyce how to be a parent without keeping El from
having a boyfriend. Most of the four boys are all some sort of relationship. Being pre-teens is already awkward enough in a social setting but let’s just through nerd and geek element. (Or as we refer to them both as a neek). So just talking to a girl is huge not to mention to courage to kiss her.
So, what happens when you come into a conflict situation when emotional issues come welling up.
Mike and El’s relationship is shaken by lies, fear, and monsters of all sorts.
Dustin summed up how to face conflict in whatever form it takes. Steve Harrington befriends our
neeky teens and as his older brother mentor role tries to be a hero. It often results in getting a beating and losing a fight. But that doesn’t stop him from trying to save the day. When they break into a hidden experimental Russian compound right under Hawkins new mall and Steve knocks out a guard, Dustin yells, “Dude, you won your first fight!” Our cast of neeks all had to choose to fight or run.
Neeks who peak in intelligence and creativity might be out of their comfort zone when it comes to
Part of interacting with others is learning how to fight. Social dynamics is a whole other learning
domain that many spend their whole lifetime understanding. When just two people interact they bring so
many interpersonal issues into play. No matter how wonderful and satisfying a good relationship is
there will always be conflict. As a neek you can easily play the social misfit and hide from people and
their problems. Sure you might think you’re being smart by avoiding conflict, but you might be missing the growth of becoming a real adult person. Yes, you might be reducing stress, completing all
important save the world projects, and doing what the world thinks a typical nerd or geek should do.
You played it safe in that box and wore the label of a freak. Or you smile that smile, hold that other
person’s trembling hand, jump in the proverbial ring, make a friend out of a cultural enemy and go win a fight.
Relationships are never clean and easy and you might walk away a little scratched up or
dented up afterwards. But quantify what gained before you calculate what lost.
As a neek how have you grown from embracing a relationship struggle instead of avoiding it?