Elena is my favori female TV character of all time. There's been so much negativity surrounding her lately that I figure I'll montrer the girl some support.
First of all, she's strong, incredibly so. She witnessed the deaths of her adoptive parents, her brother, her aunt and her biological mother, but she never allowed herself to break. She fought back every single time.
Then she's kind and compassionate. She's polite to everyone, was genuinely sorry for Anna, Trevor, she understood the situations that made them want to hurt her to save the people they loved. She would have done the same thing. She forgave Damon for doing horrible things. Was it deserved? Some would say it was, some would say it wasn't. But she loves him, he's her friend. He was dying right in front of her, like basically every other person she loved. The difference here is that there was something she could give him to make his final moments happy. A kiss. A completely chaste kiss, which in my opinion had much plus to do with comfort and forgiveness than with romance ou lust.
She's amazingly brave. She had no qualms facing Elijah, negotiating with him to get Stefan out of the tomb. She stood between Damon and Caroline with a stake pressed against her cœur, coeur to save her friend, even though she knew Damon was capable of hurting her after what he did to Jeremy. She rushed into a building in flames to save Stefan and Damon. She stabbed herself and then killed one of the strongest vampires in the world to protect her family and friends. Then she brought him back to life for the very same reason. She even stayed with him, no matter how likely it seemed Elijah would snap her neck right there.
Elena Gilbert's selfless. She was willing to sacrifice herself to save everyone's lives. She literally died for them. I'd say that's about as selfless as toi can get.
She's not without flaws. She did to Jenna and Jeremy the exact same thing she doesn't want anyone to do to her. She hid vital information from them and therefore took away their right to make decisions for themselves. But she aknowledged she'd made a mistake, she didn't blame it on anyone else. She's the kind of person who will screw up trying to do the right thing. Isn't that what we're supposed to do when we're seventeen? Make mistakes and learn from them?