I tore my acl in high school and my doctor (an orthopedic surgeon that I saw post-MRI) recommended getting surgery asap so that I could resume full activity. I followed his advice and got surgery about 2-3 weeks after I tore it and the recovery was actually pretty straight forward. Spent under 1 week bedridden, 1 week on crutches, then walking and serious physical therapy for about 6 months, followed by about 4-6 weeks of easing myself back into running, lifting and cutting. About 9 months out I was 100 percent with a brace doing every thing I used to do. Tore it in late December 2010, missed 1 lacrosse season, but after a spring/summer of hard work I was playing football at 100% by September 2011. The next December, basically 1 year after my initial injury (almost to the exact day) I was skiing at 100%. I was skiing comfortably all over the mountain while nailing my old tricks in the park and progressing my skills.
I don't know how you ski or what other physical activities you are looking forward to getting back into but I honestly believe that getting the surgery out of the way will improve your life in the long term. My (unprofessional understanding) is that it is easier for a young body to recover and get back after it at 100%. Its a tough couple months I won't lie but in my opinion a few months of pain and hard work are worth avoiding a lifetime of complications and possible further injury. I spent about 2 seasons playing sports and skiing with a brace and now I never need it. My repaired knee feels just as good if not better than my other one and I honestly am a much better skier now than I ever was before. I highly recommend getting the surgery as the best way to get back to your previous life and level of activity.
PS This is obviously a discussion to have with the surgeon if you do opt for surgery but I would recommend getting hamstring surgery. My new ACL was made 100% with tissue from my hamstring, making it easier for my body to accept than the the foreign tissue from a cadaver (a lot of people re-tear their ACL after using a cadaver graft), and also far much less painful than from my patella tendon. It is also pretty easy to build the hamstring muscle back up by biking and lifting.