4.  Should I put this off and experience life more before I make a commitment to begin the stages of initial discernment?

The answer to that question is not a "yes" or "no".  This might be the case for a younger person, but even then, being in contact with the vocation director, a pastor or someone with a solid Catholic spiritual life can help a person find out if his maturity level is solid enough to commit himself to seriously discerning religious life.  It all depends on the personality, experience level, maturity and situation of the person.