It's my first time posting here, and I have a relatively personal issue that I would like to discuss. I studied electrical engineering in college and was accepted to the integrated BS/MS program at my alma mater later in my senior year. However, due to immense stress over my OCD symptoms(obsessive thoughts) and long-term burn-out, I dropped out of that program after a year without a master's degree.
I spent another year trying to reset and reboot myself (doing part-time jobs, volunteering, reading, spending time with family), and am now a second year master's student in biostatistics under public health (was attracted to public health due to my mental health struggles). I can say that I am in a much better place now than the dark times and I am also working as an engineering intern at a medical device company which gives me a sense of purpose.
However, even after two years, I still haven't fully dropped my baggage of being a "failure" and not good enough. My best friend in college is working on her PhD in engineering and I used to expect myself to do a PhD in engineering as well. Even though now I have a clearer sense of what I truly want, somehow unconsciously I still think there could have been a better version of me -- someone who's stronger and more determined to get through whatever grinds/difficulties and go all the way up to a PhD. Intellectually I know that I might already have or will gain those qualities through my career, but emotionally I still think I somehow have failed and incurred enormous sunk cost and am much less of the best version of me.
Thank you for reading this far and hopefully someone can give me some much-needed advice. Hugs to you if you have been in similar situations.