Megan So, Feature Editor

Amidst all the pressures of schoolwork, there is one individual who never seems to forget the ultimate goal in life: math teacher Ron Thruelsen. Not only does he teach us about trig functions, educate us on how to be law-abiding drivers, and entertain us with a multitude of random videos, Thruelsen is always there to remind his students about what really matters: to remain grateful, work hard to overcome obstacles, and, as a result, be happy.

Students often seem to have a formulaic idea of reaching success. We go to school to get an education. We get an education so we can be better people and eventually get jobs. We get jobs to make money. We make money so we can be what society or our families convince us is “successful.”

But success can be found in a multitude of ways—not just through career-related or academic success. True success in its rawest form is happiness. Isn’t that ultimately what we seek in life? Don’t we go to work to make money because being financially stable (and for some, being rich) will make us happy? Money isn’t the key to finding happiness. Gratitude is.

“Gratitude is the cause, and happiness is the effect,” Thruelsen has said. “You’re not living life correctly if you’re not feeling grateful.”

Thruelsen is always prepared to remind his students that finding happiness is as simple as being thankful for your life. Yes, there are struggles we must endure in life, and yes, there are obstacles that can prevent you from being happy. But looking at the big picture, those obstacles that we transcend are what strengthen us overall.

“You have to be grateful for your obstacles, because if life had no obstacles, it would be incredibly boring,” Thruelsen said.

Thruelsen was my teacher for Geometry freshman year and for Pre-calculus junior year. Not only did he teach me the fundamentals of each subject, Thruelsen is patient and understands that we students have lives beyond our books. He believes in balance, and knows that it’s important to work hard but also take care of yourself. I’m thankful for the opportunity to have had Thruelsen as a teacher, for he helped me solve the golden problem: the function of gratitude equals happiness.