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Actress Nina Dobrev attends the 2015 Vanity Fair Oscar Party hosted by Graydon Carter at Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts on February 22, 2015 in Beverly Hills, California.
Alberto E. Rodriguez—Getty Images/WireImage

Nina Dobrev isn’t long for Mystic Falls.

The original cast member of The CW’s The Vampire Diaries confirmed Monday via her Instagram account that she’ll depart the show after this season.

Underneath a picture of Dobrev, 26, with TVD creator and showrunner Julie Plec, the actress wrote, “I always knew I wanted Elena’s story to be a six season adventure, and within those six years I got the journey of a lifetime.”

After recounting some of the show’s craziest plots (including her impressive turn as both heroine Elena Gilbert and Elena’s doppelgänger Katherine Pierce), Dobrev continued, “Elena fell in love not once, but twice, with two epic soulmates, and I myself made some of the best friends I’ll ever know and built an extended family I will love forever.”

Leading up to the May 14 finale, Dobrev encouraged fans: “I invite you to hop on the roller coaster ride that is Elena Gilbert’s life and join me as I celebrate her and prepare to say goodbye to her – and to my work family – as I move on to the next chapter of my life.”

“You, the wonderful fandom who gave more love, support and passion than anyone could have ever imagined seven years ago, when a young Degrassi girl from Canada showed up in L.A. to audition for ‘that Twilight” TV show,’ ” she wrote.

“I love you all. Fasten your seatbelts. If you think you know what’s coming, you don’t.”

Plec issued this statement to PEOPLE: “Saying goodbye to Nina is both bittersweet and beautiful. After six-plus years together, the entire cast and crew of The Vampire Diaries has reached a level of closeness that I don’t think any of us ever expected. Nina is excited to spread her wings, get some rest, travel the world and also take it by storm, and we support her a thousand-fold. We will miss Nina and the 400 characters she played, but we look forward to the insane and exciting challenge of continuing to tell stories of our Salvatore Brothers and our much-loved and gifted ensemble.”

The Vampire Diaries airs Thursdays (8 p.m. ET) on The CW).

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