Time Management for Grad Students using WK

Right now I have a month off before I start a PhD program so I’m doing WK as much as possible while also reading up on grammar with imabi.net in my spare time so I’m studying the language about 4-5 hours a day now.

Still, next month, and especially then in the Fall I’ll be really busy with grad school (I do science so I’ll be in the lab all the time) so I’m worried about being able to maintain a roughly 10 day levelup time while juggling classes, labwork, and a grad school social life, while still being able to advance my grammar/speaking/listening skills on the side.

Does anyone have any advice for grad school time management?

I’m actually a few years into a PhD in a STEM field myself and, incidentally, at the same point in WK as you. Funny how that works out…

I study Genki with a few other grad students in my department twice a week (for an hour) and we’ve been going maybe a bit over half as fast as a taught class, which to us seems like a reasonable pace. We all recently started WK and I’ve also been personally planning ~10 days per level myself. I think having others around to casually practice speaking with here and there has been really helpful in having the knowledge stick, so maybe consider bringing it up to others when you start your program.

Coursework is quite a time sink, but it lightens up a ton once you’re done with it. Even then though, expect to have somewhat less time available. I can’t say about my friends, but I’m definitely not spending 4-5 hours/day on Japanese. Don’t be surprised if you need to slow down a bit at first, but I’d say it’s definitely workable.

Just don’t aim for the same progression speed. You’ll burn yourself out and you’ll feel bad if you make your hobby into a job/obligation.

Do you need to keep up the same progression speed because you have a real deadline for learning this? Aim for some flexibility. Planning is good, but sometimes life happens and plans go out the window, and in grad school flexibility is paramount (so you can do those last minute forgotten assignments… or presentations…or…) so try not to have a super severe schedule for studying. Work it in when you feel like it and when you have free time and don’t be afraid to neglect it during midterms/finals.

Oh wow, its really good that you have a community you can study with. I might look into what I can do to find other Japanese learners or native speakers even at my school, although our STEM programs are at an offshoot medical center away from the main campus, so I probably won’t meet grad students from the larger university, and we only have about 250 grad students total in these STEM fields that I’d actually be able to meet. But who knows, I’ll have to see what there is when I get there.

Its really encouraging to hear that you are making progress despite having grad school. I’m trying to knock the bulk of my basic/intermediate grammar out of the way in the next 4.5 weeks before my program starts, and then just using WK from there with a slower pace for new grammar/practice.

My goal is to be able to read through video games in Japanese, but I won’t be able to comfortably do that for another 20 levels or so what I’ve heard in terms of vocab. I’m going to set aside part of my stipend to take a trip to Japan at some point, but I doubt I’ll have enough saved up to actually do that for another 2-3 years.

Im a full time second year medical student. I spend nearly every day at the hospital so I can kinda relate to what you mean.

Personally it comes down to discipline and time management. I maintain an average of aroun 9-10 days because I do reviews in the morning before class, and then before I go to sleep. During the day when I have a few minutes, such as lunch or im on the toilet, or even when im waiting for test results, ill pop out my phone and do 1 or 2. It adds up! Of course sometimes its difficult to keep up, especially when you are exhausted and cant be bothered. When I feel like that I make every excuse I can not to do it, and then just do it and get it over and done with. I feel a lot better afterwards.

Plan out your time, and use the phone app! The other way you can help is to download hellotalk (not trying to advertise here, its just what i use). Find a language exchange partner and just chat to them throughout the day. I started WK in december 2016, and downloaded hello talk in january. At first I couldnt understand/recognise anything, but now I can hold full conversations in japanese (I should point out that if you were to translate these conversations, it would be like kids talking to each other e.g. Today I went to the hospital. I talked to patients. I had fun. How was your day? etc), but its still progress :slight_smile:

I don’t think you have to worry at lower levels. It takes a while before the items start accumulating. Also, when you know that you’ll be busy, you can just not do lessons. The reviews themselves don’t take much time and you can just wake an hour earlier to do them or something like that.

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