Hello there I'm a bit new to this forum, but i think i can shed a little light on the fingerpicking situation here. I started to play guitar with a sole purpose to learn fingerpicking somewhere along the way and master it because it sounds totally awesome! You see, there's no general rule that says "oh you have to pick with the fleshy part of your fingers" or "oh if you ain't got no nails you can't do fingerpicking right".
You are similar level to me right now and you've probably learned that if you don't do exactly as the instructor says, but it sounds right, it's a good technique! In my experience i tried to play with "the fleshy parts" as well as nails, and for me that kinda muted a lil' bit sound of a "fleshy part" sounds totally wonderful. If you play using your nails it sounds a lot warmer, and you have to be more accurate too with what you fret, because you will hear every little mistake. Though i have a major issue about playing with my nails, and that's kinda people's problem, cuz' you have to grow your nails on the picking hand for that to work, and people around you may frown upon it. Acrylics are a good option here, but i'll leave that to you and your research.
So to wrap it all up, it's up to you and what feels/sounds better for you. For a little inspiration i will paste some videos of amazing guitar players that use the "fleshy" technique, and the nails technique.
Meet Tommy Emmanuel with the fleshy technique and a thumb-pick:
And then meet Mike Dawes with his nails and percussive technique:
Remember to practice a tons, and find out what works for you!