I should’ve known that the middle-ages, or rather the midlife crisis, has been the subject of scientific study.
Really, though, there’s nothing surprising about college kids thinking 35 is old. When I was in college I always cited 25 as the distant age when adult things would happen like taking up yoga and realizing I was a lesbian (neither happened).
I still genuinely believe that middle age does not begin until 45, and assumed this was common wisdom. As with many things (for instance, running the heat in the gym, office, and subway cars the second the temperature gets below 70) my ideas are different than others.