After beginning to study on Wanikani exactly two years ago, I finally managed to reach level 60!
Having free time during summer break at that time, I thought instead of killing time watching youtube and stuff like that I could do something more useful like taking a shot at learning language. Japanese came up as the most interesting candidate. Therefore, I started with Wanikani, intending to take in the language as I did when learning English - from reading various forms of media, playing games etc.
Boy did it turn out as a naive idea. Just to get to a level where I could read native material turned out to take huge amounts of effort, not really comparable with learning English. Being a lazy ass I am, I just pushed through Wanikani not learning anything else, like grammar. Half a year later in early 2019 (~level 25), an opportunity to enroll in an exchange study program in Japan came up and I got accepted.
It took me another 5 months to start learning some grammar in addition to WK, when exam period ended. I went through N5 and big part of N4 grammar on Bunpro in 2 months before I arrived in Japan.
Japanese school offered an opportunity to enroll in Japanese laguage classes, which I gladly took. There was a placement test to evaluate my Japanese level so I could be placed in a class around my level. The test placed me at around upper N3 level, which I found ridiculous when I first saw the results. All I did until then was WK at around level 32 and Bunpro for two months, no reading, listening, (except for anime ofc :^)), speaking, and I couln’t write a letter, as I never learned how to write kana, not mentioning kanji.
The classes were tough at first, but the teachers were great. I didn’t try to push for higher level, I just tried to solidify what I knew and fill in the gaps in my knowledge.
Overall, the exchange program was awesome. I got to live in Tokio for 5 months, travel the western Japan and actually use the language I was learning for more than a year. The feeling of being able to read most of the kanji I saw was worth the time invested in WK.
The whole experience made me motivated to keep learning Japanese. After returning home in early 2020, I kept at it at a slower pace, as final examination for my masters was coming near.
I played with the idea of living in Japan someday as I loved the stay there, but it was more of a dream, not something that I hoped to get to anytime soon. However at that time, a Japanese company contacted me with a job offer, which was completely unexpected. I went through several online job interviews, which were completely in Japanese. Ultimately I got accepted, with starting date set on 2020/7/1.
We all know what happened this year, so my starting date was moved indefinitely until Japan allows entry. Until then, I’ll keep learning - finishing WK is just a start of sorts - finally now I can confidently read Japanese!
Back then I picked up Wanikani on a whim, not really intending to learn Japanese in depth. Now, I have a job in Japan lined up, something I would not even dream of when beginning WK.
A big thanks goes to WK staff and the community for offering an amazing environment for learning kanji and creating a great starting point for people who want to go further.
And finally, here come the stats for anyone interested: