Well folx, I did it. I made it to level 60 on WaniKani. However, now that I’m here I’ve realized that this is actually a bad place to call the end, because on top of all the post-WK learning there is to do, there is still a level of kanji and a level and a half of vocab we still need to do when we hit level 60!! But at least my badge is shiny and gold now (and it’s caught the eye of one of the Ootori-sama…).
I’ve sectioned off all the little components so you can look at whatever parts of a typical level 60 post you want to. Now I’m off to eat some well-earned cake with friends!
Heatmap (I just downloaded this for this post, and noticed that my big reset messed things up a lot. But you get the general idea)
I mostly used cosmetic scripts, because vanilla WaniKani generally worked for me. I also ended up doing a lot on my phone and work laptop, where I couldn’t install scripts. I recommend all these scripts to generally improve the user experience!
I first started WaniKani in April 2017, four months after my second, semi-spontaneous trip to Japan. At this point I had decided that I was going to live in Japan someday, somehow, and wanted to come back more prepared to read and speak. I moved to Saga Prefecture in August 2018 with the JET Programme (see the massive disruption in my heatmap as I dealt with jetlag, then culture shock as I learned that visiting Japan and living in Japan are very different experiences). I consider myself a member of “Team Parabola” because I started out WaniKani fired up and ready to go. I leveled up quickly until about level 20-ish, then slowed down as life and travels got busy and I went through extended periods where I didn’t have reliable internet. I took a pretty big break altogether shortly after I was accepted into JET because everyone told me “there will be plenty of time to learn Japanese when you get there. Focus on spending time with your friends and family and enjoying life in Canada”. Looking back, I could easily have kept up at least some WaniKani and come much more confident (and maybe finished this program 6-12 months sooner), but what’s done is done, and I’m here now. I came back one day to something like 2500 reviews, got through them all, but when the after-shock waves of reviews kept coming and my accuracy wasn’t improving I reset from level 31 to 9, and focused on taking my time with each level to integrate the kanji with real-life material now that I was in Japan (and also I took mini-breaks a few times during major travel and life low points). The end of my parabola came around November 2019 when I decided to go mostly sober until I hit level 60, and I currently have no plans to go back to the level of alcohol consumption I used to be at. Personal growth!!
Raephe's top tips for YOU!
State your goals to yourself, out loud, on a regular basis. If they don’t feel right anymore, adapt them. If you reach them, make new ones.
Use vacation mode if you go on vacation. I never did, and there were two or three times where it would have really made things a lot easier on myself.
Consistency is more important than speed. Build healthy, sustainable study habits. WaniKani is not a race.
WaniKani is a part of a complete breakfast Japanese study plan. It’s not, and doesn’t pretend to be, a one-stop learning resource for the Japanese language. I encourage you to explore the many learning materials and resources out there and try different things to see what works for you.
Celebrate your small wins, and big burns. Every step matters just as much as every other step in this program.
Try out WaniKani for at least a few levels before installing any scripts. Only install scripts to solve problems you’re already facing.
Knowing myself, this is probably the beginning of the end for me on the forums. I plan on taking in 5-10 lessons a day, going back to my old limit of 100 Apprentice items, and continuing until I hit all burned (or something close to that). I’ll keep updating myself in the Luminaries thread, but I know that as I spend less time on the main site, I’ll lose interest in the forums. I appreciate everyone who I’ve interacted with on these forums, and am grateful for the users who are still around from when I first joined! You will all continue to push me on my Japanese learning journey. The July JLPT was cancelled in Japan so I won’t be taking the N3 then, but hopefully this means I can ace it in December. Onward, ho!