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Capitalizing on College: Dr. Nari Jeter and The Prosper School

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at FSU chapter.

Transitioning to college life is difficult, having to balance all these different aspects of life: socializing, academics, volunteering, work and clubs. For some people, it might even be establishing new relationship dynamics with family. It can become a juggling act, and sometimes we need help managing all of those pins. That’s exactly what Dr. Nari Jeter and The Prosper School have set out to do.

Along with her coaching business, Dr. Jeter teaches and is a marriage and family therapist. When searching for a school to get her Ph.D., she knew she wanted to go somewhere warm and sunny. Pennsylvania was cold, and she leapt at the opportunity to attend FSU, where she’s been teaching for the past 19 years.

COVID-19 changed things in the fall of 2020. With classes online and life-changing, Dr. Jeter knew she had to be there to support her students and get them through the pandemic. As semester after semester passed, it became clear that students weren’t going to be back on campus for the following fall. With a new class of freshmen coming in, she knew she had to do something. In her own words, “I really [needed] to be present for my students and for my kids, and, you know because they were going back to school. So I kind of gave myself this deadline – I’m going to get through this fall. And kind of that New Year’s resolution – I’ll start January 1st.”

True to her word, on the first day of 2021, she called a small business attorney to create Dr. Nari Jeter and The Prosper School, which is an online coaching platform for college students across the country. Her website also boasts a series of online courses on useful topics such as letters of recommendation and how to plan ahead for the semester.

Coaching with Dr. Jeter doesn’t just focus on grades or studying skills, as one might assume, but on a vast range of topics depending on what someone is struggling with. Nari said, “It’s funny because what they end up coming for doesn’t always end up being what we work on, you know? I always say that when someone tells you a story, you should listen to what they say, but you should also listen to what they don’t say. Because sometimes what people don’t tell you is a sign.” Sometimes all anyone needs is the validation of their thoughts and ideas to have the courage to pursue what they want or maybe subconsciously need. Helping students realize their own potential is part of what brings Nari so much joy with her job.

Something that college students commonly struggle with is balance. Having to walk on this tightrope of academic success while simultaneously learning to manage all of these different aspects of your life is difficult. To anyone who feels like they’re struggling with this, Dr. Jeter imparts that 1. you’re never going to get it down perfectly (and that’s ok!), and 2. You have to find what’s good enough. Likewise, what feels like balance for someone right now might not work the semester after. Needs and priorities change, and how you manage to balance them may need to change as well.

Nari says that “students who really want to do well and want to get a great college experience often say, ‘I have to do all the things, and I have to do them all amazing,’” but she says that’s not true. You have to prioritize one or two things that are important to you. This also includes acknowledging that when you say no to something, it’s not because you can’t do it, it’s that you’re choosing not to because these other things are your priorities right now.

As a college student living in a culture that prioritizes productivity, it’s hard not to go about life thinking you can do it all. Dr. Jeter works to help students realize they’re not superheroes, and it’s not admitting defeat when someone says that they simply cannot do something. Having the wisdom to know what your boundaries are, to know what your priorities and limits are, is maturity. Self-care – all of those things should be your number one priority in establishing a foundation for academic success in college.

Dr. Nari Jeter and The Prosper School are helping students to do just that.

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Emie is a third year at Florida State majoring in psychology, with a minor and special interest in women's studies. She aims to counsel, speak, and write about mental health associated with body image, disordered eating, self-confidence, sexual health, and exercise. She aspires to later obtain her PhD and work as a professor of psychology or women’s studies. In her spare time, she loves to lift weights, read, and spend time with friends and family.