HELP! Need advice!

Hello people
I need some advice on how to deal with the stress that comes when you can’t remember anything. The last 10 levels (11-20) have been pretty tough, I had to restart 17th level cause i struggled with remembering kanji and now I’m on level 21 but…I restarted that one too. I was already progressing through the level and had passed more than half the kanji but barely. My brain just couldn’t remember anything. I mean I do have to deal with some other stress outside of WaniKani cause my life is a mess and I’m really trying to keep it calm and chill with learning the language. But it has gotten really hard. I just keep procrastinating and have put my account on vacation mode dozens of times already and it currently is. I still didn’t start the level 21 again. I’ve been on this level for 2 weeks now. I do kinda wanna take a break for a while to correct my thoughts but I’m scared that when I come back I won’t be able to remember anything from those last 10 levels (maybe not all 10 but let’s say at least 5). I’m already forgetting shit and the reviews are piles when I wake up. I don’t understand why is there a need for the reviews to be at 3 am. Bruh I’m asleep. I wish they would kinda change that. When I’m learning new kanji and stuff I don’t pay too much attention to the mnemonics, even tho I probably should, but some of them are just so long and pointless that my brain doesn’t have the energy to even read. I usually skip the mnemonics for the readings and just kinda try to ‘remember’ it as it is. It has worked but not always. Depends if I already know the kanji or word from animes and other stuff.

Can someone give me some advices? Should I take a little break and start when this year ends, from January 1st? I just don’t know what to do. I just know that I don’t wanna give up.

Anyways…sorry for the long post. I’m gonna go watch animes and probably procrastinate the whole day.
Bye :wave:


Find the leeches and SRS them aggressively on the side, a leech trainer script will help also. The main reason why people forget alot is because their tactic kinda suck. Do you hit the first 4h and 8h window after learning new items? I would bet not.

Do new lessons once you can do the first review in four hours and hit the next in 8hrs. (12hrs before the first one). Doing that will solidify it rather well. Doing lessons before going to bed without hitting the 4h window is like begging for problems.

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Speaking form personal experience, I find learning new kanji and vocabulary sticks when I learn them in the morning. Humans tend to have a longer attention span and better memory in the morning (usually around 10-11am, but I guess that depends on when you wake up). So I try to do my 15-20 lessons in the morning along with around 50-100 reviews and then in the evening only do reviews.

Also try and do the apprentice reviews right when they’re available. I also find myself sometimes skipping mnemonics, and thats when I don’t remember them. What helps me is making my own mnemonics. For example my second language is Spanish, so when I remember the kun’yomi of 近 (in 近道) which is ちか, I think of a girl nearby because chika in Spanish means girl. Idk, it just kinda works for me.

You sound like you’re tired and things are tough. I’m not convinced you need a break from wanikani, but you do need a break from stressing about wanikani.

Maybe you could focus on a few things. Here are my thoughts of a four part plan to try, others may have better advice, pick what feels right to you.

1.have a pause on lessons for a bit, at least till the new year and maybe till life stress has gone down a little. Two weeks isn’t very long on one level. Hang out there for a bit and get super good at the items you have in your pile, it’ll help you later. You’re going to ace every one of the kanji on your current level, is the plan. They’re going to become your new favourites!

  1. Keep going with your reviews. Some every day, build a consistent habit. Doesn’t matter if you get them wrong, you’ll have time to do them again a few times with lessons paused. Don’t cheat even a little bit. Pat yourself in the back when you get reviews right, even when you’re stressed. That’s hard! Have a think about why you’re getting items wrong, do you need to revisit the mnemonic or come up with a new one, or drill the item or review in other ways eg by handwriting it? There’s lots of options, explore which ones might be fun to try. Try to think of this process as an adventure, not a chore. I think of it as an interesting insight into how my brain works, which helps me a lot.

  2. Once you’re much more comfy and happy with the items in your pile, then slowly add some lessons again. Aim for LESS than you think you can handle at once. Keep it slow and easy, join the Durtle the scenic route thread if you want encouragement here. Focus on slow and steady progress rather than resetting. This is probably going to mean not skipping over the mnemonics, but taking time to read and absorb them. If you don’t have the energy to read and absorb them, it’s a really good sign that your brain doesn’t have the energy for lessons right now.

  3. Connect again with why you’re doing this whole Japanese thing in the first place. Anime? Great. Watch some anime, translate a chapter of an absolute beginner book club manga, connect again with why you want to learn Japanese so you can start celebrating your progress to date rather than stressing about how much you’re getting wrong and how much you don’t know.

Please, please, above all, be kind to yourself. I hope things get better.


Yes I actually do study around that time too when I have lessons and than later I do the reviews when I have them. But it kinda sucks that currently I don’t live alone and don’t even have my own room which makes me really stressed. But hopefully I’ll figure it out somehow.

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H_7, I can relate to sooo much of what you’re dealing with right now. I’m sharing a house with 6 other people at the moment, 1 of whom is my partner so that’s great in a sense, but we are sharing a room so actual reliable alone time is haaaard to come by. And I LOVE alone time. It helps my brain so much. So I can really empathise with the stress you’re experiencing.

Hang in there :green_heart: and carve out whatever moments of joy/peace/aloneness/fun you can. Headphones are a lifesaver, noise-cancelling is a big bonus but not essential. Anime is great. Lose yourself in a beautiful episode or movie or game for a bit and just really absorb and enjoy the Japanese language. Your kanji-learning journey can be slowed down or put on hold until there’s a little more space in your brain / schedule again.

Sending you much love :sparkles:


That’s a very good plan. I was actually thinking about just doing the reviews only for a while but that alone also kinda makes me stressed(my brain is a mess), but I’ll give it a shot one more time and I will try writing it more. I actually do have a notebook where I write all my lessons in. I started this immediately when I started wanikani. And I have it all written by levels. But I guess I should try to write it more on the side somewhere in another notebook for practice. Thanks a lot! I’ll do my best!


It’s nice to find people who understand. And yes headphones truly are a lifesaver, but it’s not just the problem if I hear a person with me in the room. I feel that the person is there which makes me uncomfortable (I do struggle with anxiety and some other undiagnosed shit + I’m an introvert and a highly sensitive person). It just feels uncomfortable to just start talking out loud in japanese and somebody is just there waching the tv and doing their own thing. I love being alone cause I’ve kinda been like that my whole life and it makes me stressed when I can’t have my own peace. Tho the household I currently live in is way calmer than where I grew up in so at least that is a plus. But when there is anyone around me that is filled with negative energy it just drains me. Don’t know how spiritual you are but the fact that I can feel people’s energy effects me a lot on all possible levels. My mom is quite stressed about her job and her boyfriend too and we are struggling with moving out of this damn apartment cause we cant sell it and everything else is very expensive.
Hopefully next year is gonna be a bit better and we’re gonna move somewhere else. Until then I’ll try to do my best on studying and not losing my mind on the way. I do listen to music a lot. I just kinda shifted form english to japanese music not just because of the language but also because their music is so good and underrated, they need more praise for their works. We’ll see what happens. I’ll really try my best. And thank you.:grin:


If you are getting reviews at 3 am it is because you are doing lessons and/or reviews at bad times that will make your next review show up at 3 am. the times aren’t random, it is a set pattern, which means you have the power to dictate what time your reviews will show up.

I would recommend you read this guide. It has a lot of really useful information in it about how to optimize yoru wanikani experience. Among that is a section on how to setup your lessons and review cycle properly.

Last thing I would say is that if you are having trouble with remembering things, you simply need to slow down. Wanikani is a marathon, not a sprint. You gain nothing by trying to go as fast as possible. Once you get back on track with your reviews, try doing just 10 lessons a day. If that goes well, bump it up to 15. Try to figure out what the best number for you is.

Good Luck.


I didn’t know that about the reviews. When I study, it’s always in the morning cause that’s the only time when I’m alone till 2 pm. I’ll check out that guide and I’ll slow down on the lessons. Thanks a lot for telling me that.:blush:

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I would stop doing lessons for a while and just do your reviews every day. Obviously not when you’re stressed out, but when you feel you can take a moment. Normally don’t recommend listening to music when you have trouble with retaining items, but it might help relax you a bit and get in the flow. I feel that has helped me get some of the edge off.

When you’re on top of wk again, and I’m sure you will, you can start adding lessons accordingly. Just note that going slowly is not a bad thing, it is still movement and progress.


Thanks a lot! Yeah I absolutely can’t study with music it has to be complete silence. I will try to find noise canceling headphones to block all the possible noise so I can be in complete silence (hopefully). But i will also try to listen to relaxing melodies while doing the reviews or even lessons because I found that that kinda calmed me. I tried listening to some sleep sounds on yt to fall asleep and it actually worked so I’ll give it a try with this. And I’m totally stopping the lessons for a while until I tackle most of the things that I have to. We’ll see how that goes. I’m currently reading a lot of stuff and guides in the community to see what to do and what not to do. It’s kinda weird that I’m doing that now and didn’t do it sooner but it is what it is. Better now than never.:grin:


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