This is hardly a WK success story, it’s actually more like the polar opposite, a “biting off more than you can chew when your mouth isn’t as big as everyone’s” kind of story.
I hit the hardest WK stump I’ve ever hit in my life. I was stuck for almost 3 to 4 months without progressing, and the reviews just kept piling and piling. I think I had somewhere around 1200 at once.
My accuracy and motivation crashed really hard. I could never get any review session above 40-50%. Even though I was feeling like shit, I kept pushing and pushing, making batches of around 200 reviews each day.
This backfired so hard. My Apprentice item count inflated faster than the Venezuelan bolívar, so it created a rhythm in which I was just adding and adding to it, but I was never able to hit the item I needed to study again in enough time for the SRS to work. This kept going for a while.
Talking to my girlfriend (she’s on Wanikani too!) about this problem, she suggested resetting.
Given how wrong I had been the past few months, and how my apprentice pile was scratching the 350’s, I started considering a reset. I logged on to Wanikani Stats to see just how bad the damage was. Suffices to say that a strong majority (like 80%) of my WK items were Apprentice/Guru through level 16 to 23. That was insane! I was so behind I really couldn’t catch up with further reviews. Somewhere around this time the Radicals update came live, so it just added more weight to resetting, as the benefits were clear.
A couple of days ago I finally bit the bullet and resetted. I’ve been taking it real slow since then. What good is it to blaze through piles and piles of items if I can’t recall any of them and I’ll get burnt out and forget them?
Some changes I’ll personally make:
- During this whole event I picked up the habit of writting down all of the kanji vocab I kept getting wrong. I intend to do this again, not when I get the item wrong, but when I’m doing the lesson, to have this dumb brain of mine actually remember shit.
- Stop caring for those speed demons and finishing WaniKani fast. I’m not one of them, nor will I be. Trying to be something I am not is just toxic and deters my progress as a whole. If I have to finish WK in 8 years, so be it. I already payed for Lifetime anyway.
- Don’t care so much about doing the Reviews with all those nice plug-ins on my computer (Stuff like Jitai, Kanji Stroke Order, or Lightning Mode) and use WK on my phone more often. I kept preferring my computer because of that, but I often missed the SRS timing. But the more I stick to the SRS, the better the results.
- Lower the lesson intensity if I’m feeling overwhelmed, but never stop doing reviews. Vacation mode can be addicting. Don’t overuse it kids. The fact that Wanikani stops the SRS timers doesn’t mean your brain will.
Any advice is more than welcome too! I feel like shit, but with a glister of hope. I’m hopefully shitty.