I really appreciate the input from everyone, and have taken what you said into consideration. I'm leaning toward waiting until I move out of province before I make a commitment to an Akita. That way, I will be able to either find a place that will accept a larger dog, or wait it out until I do.
To address some other (very reasonable) concerns: I will still be attending post secondary when I plan to get an Akita, but I don't think it would affect the dog too terribly much. I don't drink and I don't party, ever. I can't leave home for extended periods of time because of my job. If I do leave, it's only to go to the next province to see family, so the dog would be welcome. My best friend of, well, nineteen years, lives with me so I don't really visit, either. My two true joys in life are reading and physical activity, so the likelihood of any dog of mine being under exercised is very low. I'm very humdrum, I'm afraid! The biggest issue I'd probably have is socializing a dog, as I'm not so social myself. I am aware how important it is though, and would see that any dog I owned would be well socialized.
I'd very much like to volunteer at an Akita rescue, but there are really none to be found in my area, sadly. However, thanks to your excellent suggestion, I am going to put some time into working with one of the many other shelters to be found where I live. I am going to view the next two years as an opportunity to even more thoroughly prepare myself for owning an Akita. Do any of you have any reading material you'd recommend?
Once again, thank you all for taking the time to answer my question. It was very helpful to hear some grounded, unbiased advice (friends, while wonderful, have a lack of that sometimes) and I can honestly say it helped form my decision, to the benefit of both me and my future puppy!
P.s.: Maria, thank you specifically for mentioning documenting a pet agreement, it's a really good idea and one I will put to use in the future.
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