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Best Starting Point: ''Growing Pains'' (401) — A lot changed in last season's lead-up. It's probably best not to miss this season opener, which shows…

With one season left in The Vampire Diaries’ run, we decided it was time to start collecting everyone’s final diary entries. Every week during the final season, EW is asking those involved with the show to look back on one of their favorite moments from the series. So grab your tissues and join us on this trip down a vampire-filled memory lane.

For the final week, Nina Dobrev — who’s back for the series finale — looks back on her time as Elena Gilbert (and every other Petrova doppelganger)…

I get feelings about things. I always joke with my friends that I actually have supernatural abilities, and when I got the pilot and we started shooting, just the synergy with everyone and the cast, it just felt right and I kind of had this feeling that it would go and it would go for a long time. My juju was accurate.

I loved doing all the period episodes. Any time I got to go back into the 1400s or the Viking Age or anything of that sort, that was always my favorite. The 20s were really fun. Basically, anything that Katherine got to do and have a corset on or some sort of cool costume was really fun.

It was easy to get back into character for the finale. I played Elena for six years, so I jumped right back into it. There’s a lot of Elena in me, so it was easy to join the family back up and pick up where we left off.

This goodbye feels different than it did when I left the first time because I was leaving and the show continued, and now the show’s ending for everyone. It feels more final. It’s more almost like closure. Everyone’s been very nostalgic; it’s a bittersweet ending. I’m very happy that we were able to make it work and that I came back because I really missed the whole family and wanted to be part of the final goodbye. It really has felt like the closure that I needed — that hopefully everybody needs — and I think it ends in such a beautiful way that everyone will be happy.

So much has changed for all of us. When I look back at everybody and see how everyone’s changed in such a positive way and grown into such beautiful adults, it’s great and it’s also kind of sad. I’m going to miss everybody but hopefully once everybody moves back to L.A., we’ll continue to hang out.

I always say this show was like actor boot camp. I started off so young and green and I learned everything that you could possibly learn about. From a technical standpoint, there’s marks and frames and lighting, and then and I got to do a lot of stunts and I had to cry all the time and I had to scream and run. I sort of did every kind of acting that you can possibly do, so I feel like it groomed me and prepared me for the next step. I’m ready.

—As told to Samantha Highfill

The Vampire Diaries series finale airs Friday, March 10 at 9 p.m. ET on The CW.

Episode Recaps

Best Starting Point: ''Growing Pains'' (401) — A lot changed in last season's lead-up. It's probably best not to miss this season opener, which shows…
The Vampire Diaries

Ian Somerhalder, Nina Dobrev, and Paul Wesley star in the CW’s romance-infused vampire soap opera.

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