Why wait? "Because we're under contract," the 24-year-old explains to E! News.
While Meester admits she "obviously enjoys working on the show and in New York," she's already made her post-Gossip Girl intentions known to the show's producers, who have allowed her to take time off to pursue other film projects.
"It allows you to be ready for when the show's over," she says of taking on roles in Country Strong and The Roommate.
Meester isn't the only Gossip Girl star who's scaled back her camera time: 17-year-old Taylor Momsen, who plays angsty high school student Jenny Humphrey, was reportedly suspended from the show in November.
"Taylor only does [the show] for the money," a source told UsMagazine.com at the time. "She works hard on Gossip Girl but doesn't care about the plot or the other cast members. She treats it like a 9-5. No emotional investment."