My mid-20s levels were really rough. WaniKani had reached its “peak workload” for me and I was totally overwhelmed and not having fun learning kanji anymore. I ended up taking 62 days on one level, and it felt like a total chore to do my reviews. Shortly after, my one-year subscription came to an end, and I just let it lie un-renewed for almost a year x_x.
I got a little “too satisfied” with the progress I’d made until then, and I spent that year reading manga and stuff, which was way more fun than WaniKani. I definitely thought, “whatever, maybe this is enough Japanese for me”, at some point. But as I needed to look up the same characters over and over again, slowly my hunger for knowing more kanji returned. I also started chatting with native speakers online, and I wanted more vocab to express myself with.
Eventually, near the end of 2019, I came back to face my 950-item review pile. I renewed my subscription and made it my New Year’s resolution to somehow get back into the swing of it. I used the Reorder script to do the oldest ones in batches, and then I did the last 572 cards in one go. I don’t know what got into me.
(There is really no “trick” to it: in a way, it’s like, “you just have to do all of the work until it is done”. My advice might be to not worry about how much stuff you’ve forgotten. Note how in that screenshot I have 60% accuracy. It’s super frustrating, but think about it this way: you and SRS are working together to “sort” all these cards to the right place. Sometimes that means a Guru card from a year ago needs to sink back to Apprentice 2. That’s okay — that’s exactly how you’re going to re-learn it.)
I finally made it out of level 25, after 342 days. I needed a while to pick the pace back up after that, because the echoes of that huge review backlog were still kicking my butt. But I leveled up to 29 today, in a very normal amount of time, so I’ve seemingly successfully overcome the daunting return to WaniKani…
I’m glad I made it back here. And if I can do it, so can you! I’m cheering you on!! 頑張ってね