See title. Thank you for coming to my Ted Talk.
I’m joking. I have at least a little (added post-writing: apparently a lot) more than that to say.
This post is coming about a day earlier than I expected to make it. I had initially planned on holding off until I guru’d enough of the level 60 kanji for the level to be considered “completed,” but a forced re-log means that I have received my badge a little earlier than anticipated!
Due to that, I decided to pick up some celebratory cheesecake, and have sat down to write this post, somewhat premature though it may be.
I’m not really sure that I have any advice, or any tips or tricks that literally anybody else couldn’t tell you. I’m hardly the fastest person to complete WaniKani, having started in April of 2020 as a result of Covid quarantine boredom, and a slight spark of an idea that, “Hey, I enjoy a lot of Japanese media. Maybe I should arbitrarily try and learn this incredibly difficult language as little more than a hobby.”
I didn’t have any illusions about sticking to it, at that point. I figured, much like our current… vague hand wave situation, the urge to learn Japanese would pass quickly. I would hit a wall and become discouraged, and it’ll have been a fun, but ultimately pointless distraction to kill some time without having to doom scroll on social media while quarantining.
It’s pretty much just an accident that learning Japanese has become what I devote most of my free time to, and that I’ve absolutely fallen in love with the language, to the point that I’m now here, just shy of two years later, having (mostly) completed a program to learn ~2000 kanji, with the full intention to continue to devote time to learning the language.
I guess my advice, though not specific to WaniKani, would just be to try things out. Chase your whims and allow yourself to be surprised by where they lead. Just enjoy the journey.
For WaniKani specifically, I would have to echo the sentiments of the wonderful @sansarret. Just keep going. It’s not easy, by any means, but it’s as simple as that. Take a little bit of time, every day, let it become a basic habit that you can do even on your worst days, and eventually, you’ll get there. Maybe it’ll be slow, maybe it’ll be fast. It doesn’t matter what the pace is, so long as it’s the pace that best suits you.
Also, start reading, and watching, and listening to things in Japanese as soon as you can. Graded readers, level 0. An anime you love, even if you don’t understand all of it. Podcasts, Youtubers, Twitch streamers, VTubers, anything! Do whatever it takes to expose yourself to as much as the language as you can, as soon as you can. It makes a huge difference. Join book clubs, chat with fellow learners, you’ll gain so, so much, I promise!
On that note…
I can’t possibly begin to thank everyone who’s helped me out. I would be here forever. If I leave anyone out, I apologize, please know that I am sincerely thankful for every bit of guidance I’ve received on this journey so far, and I will continue to be grateful for all the future help I’m going to inevitably need!
First and foremost, I have to offer a huge shoutout and thanks to @TobiasW, who has been my sounding board for frustrations and thoughts, discussion buddy on odd things I run into, a cheerleader for these last few levels of WaniKani, and all-around wonderful friend and confidant! I seriously doubt I would be as motivated to continue learning if not for chatting with him all the time, and he’s helped push me out of my socially anxious little shell into starting proper tutor sessions to try and start actually using the language for more than just reading!
Similarly, I cannot offer enough thanks to everybody in the book clubs I’ve been in (here is where I’m going to start not being able to remember all the names at once!). @ChristopherFritz, @omk3, and @2OC3aOdKgwSGlxfz, especially, have been absolutely incredible at helping me figure so many things out, and I am always happy to see their profile pictures pop up as “replying…” whenever I have any questions, because I know I’ll get an excellent answer that helps me see something I missed!
Finally, I want to give thanks to the people in the Japanese Sentence a Day Challenge thread. While my posting there has been anything but consistent, everybody there has been incredibly supportive and helpful (especially @Iinchou and @yamitenshi), and I will continue to engage in conversations there whenever I have the chance (and the capability to form my thoughts!)
I’m going to stop there, because I could seriously go at this all night, and nobody wants to read a list of names all night, I’m sure. Again, if I missed anyone, I’m sorry, and still know that you are appreciated and adored!
Anyhow, that’s enough from me! I hope everyone stays happy and healthy! Best of luck in your studies! I’ll see you all around the forums!