I used to be level 33, and around the middle of October I had to take a break from WaniKani due to personal life issues that I needed to take care of. But then the months went by and in January I tried to get back into it. However, I had a bad habit of trying to finish the kanji lessons/reviews as fast as possible to optimize my level up times. This led to me having a huge backlog of LESSONS that were up in the 400+ range IN ADDITION to the overwhelming quantity of reviews.
Consequently, I made the decision to drop my level down to 30. It reduced it a decent amount but I still lost the psychological battle and ended up going back to my comfortable hiatus for another two months.
Yesterday (Feb 22nd, 2018), I was finally able to find the drive again to attack my WaniKani review stack. I decided that I need to change my mindset about leveling up and forget about trying to go for speed. And so I sat there, staring at my review stack in the 600+ range wondering if I could really get it back down to zero again. Even when I was doing WaniKani every day back in September/October, I haven’t had zero reviews in so many levels due to me re-ordering to complete the kanji reviews and ignoring the vocabulary.
As I attacked those reviews I realized just how rusty I was. It would take AGES to finish just 10 items. This made me recognize just how deep my previous self’s bad habits took root. I felt like I didn’t really know anything at all. This made me decide to try decreasing my level again in a few increments.
First I decided to drop down to level 28. But it honestly didn’t really feel like it changed much. I ended up getting distracted—browsing the forum, wiping my scripts and trying to start that over again, chatting with people on Discord.
Then I decided to drop down to level 25. However, the main difference here is that I also started to implement the re-order script so I can review in increasing levels. This helped me effectively measure how rusty I have become. It was actually kind of surprising how much I remembered from earlier levels. I was able to still burn a decent amount !!!
When I started getting to the items in level 24 and 25, I had to actually keep forcing out incorrect items. It got to a point where I literally just couldn’t remember any item for the life of me. So that is where I figured my memory faded the most. Luckily, I didn’t lower my level too far down and managed to strike the best balance between what I did and didn’t remember.
And now I’m here, browsing the forums with zero reviews and WK Anti-burnout preventing me from doing lessons and typing out my comeback story for you to read to give you at least a little bit of motivation.
If I were to do anything different though, I think I would try to use the re-order script to measure what level I would start to practically fail everything, and THEN reset to that level. It’s surprising just how much you can somewhat recall!