The actress told PEOPLE at the Stella Artois Braderie at New York City’s Hudson Mercantile earlier this month that she took home a few of her character’s track suits, as well as a bathing suit and a swim cap she wore on the show.
“For me, it was just having a couple of tangible items to look back on,” explained Mitchell, 30. “But I think more than anything for me, her swim cap was definitely something I had to take.”
Mitchell’s character was a champion swimmer – a skill that required her to take some refresher courses early on in the series.
“[PLL star Lindsey Shaw] and I both took swimming lessons for like three weeks,” revealed the actress.
Now, as Mitchell and her longtime cast mates prepare for the series finale to air Tuesday night, she is reflecting on what she learned from being Emily.
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“She really is a loyal friend, and she’s sort of the friend that all the girls go to for advice, or if they want her opinion on something or just an ear to listen to,” said Mitchell.
“And that’s been really amazing and I try to pull a lot of that into my own relationships with my friends,” she added.
Pretty Little Liars‘s two-hour series finale airs Tuesday at 8 p.m. ET on Freeform.