Christina Wolfgram
August 11, 2015 11:33 am

As the anticipation for tonight’s Pretty Little Liars finale drives fans closer and closer to checking themselves into Radley, many are reminiscing about their favorite parts of the show’s five and a half seasons. Though it’s technically only been about two years in Rosewood since the Liars received their first A text, Aria, Hanna, Emily, and Spencer have changed so much. I mean, maneuvering crazy cyber bullying will do that to you.

Season 6A has been ten episodes of lasts: the last times we’ll ever see the girls in high school, doing high school things, and living with their parents. And – thank goodness – tonight will be the last time we have any lingering questions about A’s identity. (Whew!) As the mystery is winding down, today is the perfect time to think about some of the show’s firsts, to see how far these girls have come.

Like, remember the first time Emily came to terms with her sexuality? When the show started, Emily was keeping her feelings for girls under-wraps and dating a boy – a boy who didn’t even treat her nicely. Once she met Maya, Emily found a new confidence in herself. That confidence has grown tenfold over these years of standing up for herself, and not only has Emily dated some pretty awesome ladies (I hear you, Paily fans), she’s also completely shaken off A’s sick accusation that she is “the weakest link” in her friend group. Heck no, Emily Fields is one strong link.

When we first met Spencer, she was as buttoned-up as her blazers. She ignored friendships in favor of internships, and had a really bad habit of kissing her sister’s boyfriends. Now, she’s a fiercely loyal friend to the Liars and defends Melissa on a regular basis, keeping her darkest secrets (cough Bethany Young cough). Plus, she wears way comfier clothes (less high heels).

And Aria – remember season one Aria? Her life totally revolved around her relationship with Ezra and (ironically) hiding her dad’s student/teacher affair. Two Rosewood years later, and she’s packing up to live in Los Angeles on her own, like the kick-A independent lady she’s grown to be.

Obviously, we can’t forget Hanna, who started the series by shoplifting designer sunglasses, struggling with bulimia, and Regina George-ing Rosewood High with Mona by her side. Since season one, she’s overcome so many of her insecurities, faced her issues with Alison’s bullying, and survived a stint in prison (and, oh yeah, getting hit by a car).

Season one feels so long ago, right? It’s been centuries since the girls started junior year with Ezra as their English teacher and Ian as their number one A suspect. If rehashing old PLL plotlines doesn’t get you nostalgic enough, this video that Seventeen put together definitely will. “Your Favorite ‘Pretty Little Liars’ Stars Over the Years” shows Lucy Hale, Ashley Benson, Shay Mitchell, and Troian Bellisario working the red carpet over the last five years, and — holy Mona Vanderwall — the video really demonstrates how much the cast has grown up before our eyes. It’s like a living yearbook.

Check it out and prepare to feel all the feels.

(Images via here and here.)

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